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  • California makes it easier to receive workers’ comp for coronavirus claims
    Updated On: Aug 02, 2020

    Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday that will make it easier for essential workers who contract COVID-19 to obtain workers’ compensations benefits in a win for labor unions that called for the change.

    The order streamlines workers’ compensation claims and establishes a rebuttable presumption that any essential workers infected with COVID-19 contracted the virus on the job, Newsom said. In effect, the change shifts the burden of proof that typically falls on workers and instead requires companies or insurers to prove that the employees didn’t get sick at work.

    “This workers’ comp presumption is so important, because we want people to feel confident, comfortable, they’ll have their benefits,” Newsom said. “The whole idea is, as we move into this second phase, we want to keep workers healthy and keep them safe.”

    Newsom announced a four-phase plan last week to gradually transition back to normal. The second phase begins Friday with the reopening of some retail businesses for curbside pickup.

    The California Federation of Labor, which asked for the workers’ compensation change in a March 27 letter to the governor and legislative leaders, applauded the governor’s decision on Wednesday.

    “Gov. Newsom’s order today adds a vital layer of protection to essential workers putting their lives at risk to provide for our families during this pandemic,” Art Pulaski, the federation’s executive secretary-treasurer, said in a statement. “We commend the governor for taking action to ensure workers on the front lines of this crisis are able to access healthcare and other benefits from workers’ compensation without costly delays that could acutely endanger their health and safety.”

    Read more at the Los Angeles Times.


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