Pacific Workers Compensation - May 2020

Pacific Post HowCOVID-19 Is AffectingWorkers’ Compensation Listen on ‘Work Comp Talk’ Podcast May 2020

As we deal with the COVID-19 (the coronavirus) pandemic, it’s our duty to stay up to date on the latest news in order to see how this situation affects our personal lives as well as our workers’ comp laws. However, as we’re staying inside more, it’s the perfect timing for us to launch our workers’ comp podcast, because COVID-19’s impact may change our current and future cases. Our first episode was actually on immigration laws for those who are undocumented and how workers’ comp comes into play. As the virus has spread, we’re fortunate that doctors have been readily available to talk about the situation and how to handle it properly for those without documents. In our second episode, we talked specifically about how COVID-19 affects workers’ comp laws. For first responders — like police officers, nurses, and many others in the public safety and health care fields — we can proceed with a claim for benefits due to contraction. If a first responder has developed a long-term illness and becomes infected, their treatment can be costly, but we are still figuring out how to handle that situation. However, if someone dies as a result of COVID-19, there are benefits that help reduce the financial burden on loved ones. We work with many first responders, and we want to be sure that they are not only safe but also taken care of in the event of infection. The first law that the COVID-19 outbreak prompted included defining what is considered an essential business and what

“In our second episode, we talked specifically about how COVID-19 affects workers’ comp laws.”

employees of those businesses are entitled to. If you’re in the health care field, in the food industry, or if you get infected in general, you are entitled to benefits to help you manage the situation, including paid time off to self- isolate for 14 days and workers’ comp pay. Washing your hands frequently and ensuring your workspace is clean are the best preventions. Employers have an obligation to slow the infection rate and should be doing their best to help their employees limit contact with others. This includes offering remote work opportunities for as many departments as possible. If an employee suspects that there is an outbreak in the area, then they need to inform their employer immediately. If the employer doesn’t act, then we suggest going to the appropriate medical authorities. Contracting the disease

at work is considered a work injury because you got it while on the job rather than bringing it to the workplace. Be warned: There is misinformation circulating about the disease, so it’s essential to check your sources. Stick to local news outlets and established news entities like Forbes and The Washington Post. If you have any questions or concerns, remember that we’re here, and you can call us anytime at 888-740-6463. If you want to keep up with our new podcast, visit PacificWorkers.com/about-us/work-comp-talk to listen to the latest episode!

– The Lawyers For Injured Workers

510-240-8710 • 1

www.pacificworkers.com

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