Not all workers are granted worker’s compensation protections should they become sick with the coronavirus due to workplace infection. Because of the widespread nature of the coronavirus, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a person got infected with the virus while at work or in another setting. However, there are certain jobs where it is widely understood that workers are at a greater risk of infection due to the nature of the job itself. These workers are protected under worker’s compensation should they become sick with the coronavirus. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, certain federal employees have been flagged as working in high-risk jobs. These high-risk workers include first responders, law enforcement officers, and medical workers.
If you are a worker in these high-risk fields, the Department of Labor has put a procedure in place to help workers file claims in a timely manner. Workers are asked to file form CA-1, Notice of Traumatic Injury. If a worker is deemed to be in a high-risk employment field and files a claim within 30 days of becoming sick, he or she should be able to receive pay for up to 45 days for illness.
What happens if you become sick with COVID-19 and are not employed in an area deemed to be high risk? Then, the burden would be on you to show why you believe you were exposed to COVID-19 on the job. If workers are able to show that they contracted the coronavirus on the job, a claim may be possible. Individuals must show that they were diagnosed with COVID-19 and must generally have a physician qualify that exposure to the virus likely happened on the job.
Proving that you got sick on the job can be more challenging, but isn’t impossible. In recent weeks many clusters of coronavirus infection have been traced back to meat packing plants. According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, whether non-federal workers may be able to make similar worker’s compensation claims will depend on whether the worker is employed in a high-risk field (such as the medical profession or as a first responder) and whether the worker can prove that he or she contracted the coronavirus while at work.
Florida has required that worker’s compensation be provided to workers who are working on the front lines of COVID-19, according to the Insurance Journal. Florida law provides worker’s compensation protection to any worker who contracts COVID-19 while on the job. If you can show that you likely contracted the virus while working and are considered an essential worker, you may have protections under worker’s compensation in Florida.
If you think you might have contracted COVID-19 on the job, and your worker’s compensation claim was denied, consider reaching out to the worker’s compensation law firm of Orlando R. Murillo, P.A. in Miami, Florida. Our worker’s compensation law firm can review your case, help you understand your rights, and may be able to assist you in appealing a denied claim. Reach out to our worker’s compensation lawyer today or contact USAttorneys.com to get matched with a worker’s compensation attorney.