May an employee file for workers’ compensation benefits if he or she has been exposed to COVID-19 at work?
Generally, for there to be a compensable workers’ compensation claim, there must be an injury or occupational disease that occurs in the course of an employee’s employment, and that also arises out of that employment. In terms of the current COVID-19 outbreak, an employee may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if the employee was exposed to the virus while traveling on business or the employee was exposed to the virus by someone in the workplace. If an employee reports a belief that he or she contracted COVID-19 at work, employers should follow their standard accident and injury reporting procedures and, if they are subscribers, contact their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Employers should avoid making their own determination as to where or how an employee contracted the virus, but allow their insurance carrier to conduct an investigation and make that determination.
Last updated June 22
These materials are made available by Jackson Walker for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal or medical advice, and are not a substitute for legal advice from qualified counsel. The laws of other states and nations may be entirely different from what is described. Your use of these materials does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Jackson Walker. The facts and results of each case will vary, and no particular result can be guaranteed.