A huge concern for workers who are considered essential employees that continue to work during the pandemic is what will happen to them if they contract coronavirus at work. The short answer is, if you are an essential worker and you are placed at an increased risk of infection from the novel coronavirus, you likely have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Minnesota.
Congress recently passed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that provides two weeks of paid sick leave benefits for employees who miss time from work due to COVID-19. What the stimulus package does not provide for is payment of medical treatment due to coronavirus exposure. That is where workers’ compensation benefits can fill the gap.
Legislation is brewing in multiple states regarding coverage for first responders and healthcare workers who are clearly at an increased risk for contracting the novel coronavirus due to their work of helping sick patients with the disease. However, cities, municipalities, and especially workers’ compensation insurers are fighting these legislative efforts. Furthermore, other workers who are considered essential but may not fall under those categories face more uncertainty as to whether their medical treatment may be covered by workers’ compensation. Workers who work for grocery stores, Amazon, delivery companies, truckers, and other large retailers may be put at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their jobs requiring more personal contact. Those workers may see their workers’ compensation claims denied because insurers will take the position that these jobs do not place employees at an increased risk for an occupational illness.
The Law Office of Joshua Borken is happy to help with any questions you may have about contracting coronavirus at work and your rights to workers’ compensation benefits if you do. We remain available 24/7 during this crisis to answer your questions and help you fight for the benefits you are entitled to. We are able to send paperwork to sign electronically, hold court proceedings by phone or Zoom, and even conduct hearings remotely. Call us with any questions or concerns you have about navigating your job while dealing with coronavirus.