Legislation to Extend COVID-19 Presumption for CA Workers’ Comp Claims in Review

July 10, 2020California

Overview
In May, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order instituting a rebuttable presumption that any employee diagnosed with COVID-19 from March 17 to July 5, who had worked at the workplace at the direction of their employer, was presumed to have contracted the disease on the job. Meeting the EO’s requirements would establish workers’ compensation benefits for the diagnosed employee. 

Although the presumption expired on July 5, 2020, California Legislature is currently addressing three bills that could potentially extend the order. SB1159 aims to backdate the bill to cover claims filed after July 5 for an employee.  We will continue to monitor legislative updates. In the interim, new COVID-19 claims will again be addressed under previous workers’ compensation rules.

Action Steps

  • Should a California-based employee allege their COVID-19 diagnosis was the result of a work-related exposure, employers must continue to report claims.

  • If the employee states the exposure is work-related, the individual should be provided with the DWC1 form. The claim should be reported to your carrier as soon as the DWC1 form is completed. The carrier will then evaluate the claim.

  • Employers must continue to carefully document all claims. Carriers will again have 90 days to investigate a claim. Under the Executive Order, they had 30 days.

MMA is Here to Help
The MMA team has extensive resources and experience to assist you. Please feel free to reach out if you have questions. More information and ongoing updates are available at Marsh & McLennan Agency’s COVID-19 Resource Center.