Doctors, hospital staff, and other healthcare workers are required to work long hours, often in dangerous, high-stress situations. They frequently work with hazardous materials and are often exposed to harmful, infectious diseases. As a result, it is not uncommon for healthcare workers to suffer job-related injuries and illnesses.
These and other injuries can have serious effects, causing temporary or permanent disability and resulting in the affected worker being unable to return to work for weeks, months, or even years. When this occurs, eligible workers can receive workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses, wage replacement, and other related costs.
With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers have faced a disproportionate risk of on-the-job exposure and infection. To aid healthcare professionals and other essential workers, such as first responders, California passed a law making it easier for those exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace to qualify for workers’ compensation.
Senate Bill 1159, signed into law on September 20, 2020, allows certain qualifying workers to collect workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses, wage replacement, and more. Specifically, the law makes it so that healthcare workers, first responders, and certain other employees who contract COVID-19 are automatically presumed to have been exposed to the virus at work or due to their employment. The law also provides that employees who contract COVID-19 during an outbreak in their workplace are automatically presumed to have been exposed at work, therefore making them eligible for workers’ compensation.
If you are a healthcare worker in California who was exposed to COVID-19 on the job, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation if you tested positive for the virus. Reach out to our Los Angeles healthcare workers’ compensation attorneys to learn more during a free, no-obligation consultation.
In California, healthcare workers have the same rights as any other employee who is injured on the job.