Worker’s Compensation Executive Order
On May 6, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order creating a rebuttable presumption that an employee who is working outside the home at the direction of the employer and who contracts COVID-19 incurs a work-related injury for purposes of workers’ compensation.
Key elements of the order are as follows:
- A rebuttable presumption of work-related injury.
- Applies to all workers who are working outside the home at the direction of their employer. The executive order is not restricted to essential workers.
- Eligibility threshold to be a positive test for COVID-19 or a diagnosis by a physician or surgeon licensed by the California Medical Board. If a diagnosis, the diagnosis must be confirmed by a positive test within 30 days.
- Apportionment applies.
- Time for the employer to deny claim reduced from current 90 days to 30 days.
- Temporary disability payments start only after worker uses all other state or federal sick leave benefits.
- Department of Industrial Relations will not require or accept a “no beneficiary” death benefit.
- Re-testing every 15 days during first 45 days of temporary disability payments.
- Claims to be for injuries from March 19 to June 5. Essentially a 4-month claims period.
- Benefits do not include temporary housing or personal protection equipment.