Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-62-20 extending workers’ compensation benefits to employees who contract COVID-19 while working outside of their homes during California’s stay-at-home order. The order is retroactive to March 19, 2020, and extends through July 5, 2020.
As California’s gradual reopening begins to enter Phase 2, the executive order extends workers’ compensation benefits by creating a “rebuttable presumption” that workers, who test positive or are diagnosed with COVID-19 by a physician within 14 days after performing labor or services at their place of employment, contracted COVID-19 in the scope of employment. In other words, if the order conditions are met, it is automatically presumed that the employee contracted COVID-19 during employment, making them eligible for the full range of workers’ compensation benefits, including full hospital, surgical, medical treatment, disability indemnity and death benefits.
The order applies to all workers who contract COVID-19 within 14 days of reporting to their places of employment at the employer’s direction. However, it specifies that the place of employment cannot be a home or residence. Thus, the presumption may not apply in a situation where an employee works remotely from home and elects to go to their normal worksite for some reason without direction from the employer and subsequently contracts coronavirus. Read More