Workman’s Compensation and COVID in California

This past year has redefined a lot of things we usually take for granted. We’ve experienced new definitions of work, and even health, in general. Between telecommuting, staggered shifts, and widespread relocation, the face of business has changed rapidly. We have seen the rise of “essential workers” and “heroes” among our everyday neighbors and friends.

But there is one thing that has not changed; it has only been adapted. This is the fact that workman’s compensation in California exists to help you, and that your well-being on the job is your right. It is also your responsibility to identify and defend those protections, by using the state and federal codes in place to help guide you.

As of September 17, 2020, the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has helped pass a bill protecting workers exposed to the Coronavirus on the job. This bill is in effect until January 2023 and defines illness, injury, or death from Coronavirus as being covered by workman’s compensation.

This new law aims to identify exposure to and infection from the Coronavirus as a workplace hazard. It was created to ensure that employees who become infected by the current crisis, while in the workplace, are able to stay home without a loss of wages or vacation time. The goal is to stop the spread of infection by removing any pressure an employee may feel to attend work while exhibiting symptoms. The law also puts the responsibility on the part of the employer. It necessitates that the manager or company recognize the risks of unduly burdening employees to attend shifts while feeling feverish, short of breath, nauseous, or suffering from any other deficiencies related to the pandemic.

This is a step in the right direction for protecting workers’ rights and safeties, but it is still something codified in the world of the law and legal proceedings. This is why engaging a trusted professional, well versed in the workman’s compensation system, is essential.

Having an experienced lawyer on your side is actually something that is always important in these kinds of claims, regardless of the current situation. This is because workman’s compensation is actually designed to protect employers, companies, and corporations; and not individual workers like you. If you move through your compensation claim process, even under the guidance of this new Corona-specific law, there will be people in the company ready to steer you in the wrong direction. It is common practice for employers to make every effort to shortchange injured, infected, or ill workers. They are directed, as managers, to undercut your time off, your medical coverage, and your eventual compensation.

We are all experiencing a glimpse of hope in the current climate. With vaccinations soaring and infection rates down across the country, Coronavirus is something we would all like to put in the past. But if you, or someone you love, has been exposed to this devastating disease while on the job- it is not too late. Equip yourself with the advice and guidance of legal professionals and make sure you have not suffered in vain,

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