Coronavirus and the Issue of Workers’ Compensation

As an employee working despite the pandemic, one of the burning questions they have is “What happens when I get coronavirus at work? Do I get compensated?”

For an illness to be compensable under a workers’ compensation system, it must generally be contracted in the course and scope of an employee’s employment and be specific to the work performed by that employee. So, for example, a staff who catches coronavirus from a coworker is not likely to have a cognizable workers’ compensation claim. But a health care worker who contracts the virus while treating infected patients at work probably does. Employers whose employees are likely to encounter novel coronavirus in the scope of their employment should evaluate whether they have adequate workers’ compensation insurance coverage and coverage limits that include occupational diseases.

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