Are you being considered an ‘essential employee’ in light of the lockdown we all find ourselves in right now? If somebody is an essential employee and they’re required to work at their physical location rather from the safety of their home and they get sick, do they have a leg to stand on? Can they go after their employer for putting them in a hazardous work situation? These are just some of the questions we’re fielding at Stanley Law Offices right now.
So here’s the lowdown on worker’s compensation and coronavirus:
If you are an essential employee and you as part of doing your job, get sick with the coronavirus specifically, can you get worker’s compensation? And the answer to that generally would be for communicable disease is you normally don’t get workers’ compensation because you could catch it anywhere – and you’ll have to prove if you got sick on the job. You’d have to prove it arose out of the course of employment and not somewhere else. That would be the normal response to a communicable disease. However, in this unique situation we have now, this is a little different where you are requiring people to work as essential employees. They don’t have an option and they are being exposed, you know, healthcare workers, others that have to do essential work. And my position would be that that is covered by workers’ comp. Now that’s going to be a state-by-state decision. The insurance companies will not like that issue because that opens up a lot of exposure. But I think for the right people and under the right circumstances, they should be entitled to it. It’s going to be an open legal question that I’m sure we’re going to be handling a lot of as we continue down this path.
Stay well! If you have a question, you can call our office at 1-800-608-3333 and someone will answer the call and route it properly. We are all working remotely but we are working. You can also visit our website StanleyLawOffices.com and submit through our CONTACT US page. My direct email is Joe@StanleyLawOffices.com.