Sep 20, 2020
A new bill signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom relaxes the burden of proof required to receive workers’ compensation benefits for select essential employees who contract COVID-19 on the job. Senate Bill 1159 (SB 1159) allows for police, firefighters, and other essential employees who contract COVID-19 while working to be covered under the state’s workers’ compensation program.
SB 1159 codifies the governor’s May executive order which expanded COVID-19 protections for any employees required to work outside the home by providing the presumption that they contracted the virus at work. That executive order expired on July 5, but SB 1159 is retroactive and extends until January 1, 2023. As a result, essential workers infected by COVID-19 are now covered under the state’s workers’ compensation program through the end of 2022.
SB 1159 was passed as an urgency bill, making it effective immediately (most laws are not made official until the following year).
DLG’s Founder and President, Samuel Dordulian, applauded the governor’s action to help California workers. “It’s a critical step that will provide necessary protections to our essential workers while also helping the state’s economy recover,” he said.
DLG’s state-certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist, Charles Rondeau, called SB 1159 a “definite win” for California workers. “It may seem like common sense, but these protections aren’t being extended in a number of states,” he said. “This was the right thing to do, and I hope it persuades other states to follow California’s lead.”
SB 1159 ensures workers who contract the coronavirus are eligible to receive five basic financial benefits including (when applicable):
The Los Angeles Times reported that Governor Newsom believes the new law emphasizes the need to “prioritize our workforce, our workers, our frontline essential workforce that we pay a lot of lip service to but, often, we don’t back up.”
The report from the Times also included the following facts regarding the state’s workers’ compensation system:
Under SB 1159, employees will be presumed to have contracted COVID-19 on the job if there was an outbreak at their workplace. The new law defines an outbreak as either:
Governor Newsom also signed Assembly Bill 685. AB 685 will require employers to provide written notice to workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 while also informing local public health officials. AB 685 extends authority to state regulators over the next two years, allowing them to penalize business owners for any workplace violations.
Contacting a DLG lawyer is the first step to protecting your rights and securing the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled. At DLG, we are fierce advocates who fight for workers every step of the way. Whether you’re filing a new COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim or wish to appeal a previous claim denial, we are here to help.
California workers consistently choose Dordulian Law Group over any other Los Angeles workers’ compensation firm because of our decades of experience and record of success. Regardless of what your claim entails, we have the knowledge, experience, and dedication necessary to help you achieve the best possible outcome and secure the largest workers’ compensation benefits package available.
Dordulian Law Group’s Workers’ Compensation Division is headed by Charles Rondeau. Mr. Rondeau is a seasoned attorney who holds the prestigious and extremely rare (less than 2% of California attorneys) qualification of Workers’ Compensation Law Specialist.
Mr. Rondeau has been fighting on behalf of workers for over 20 years, helping them secure the financial benefits they deserve. He leads an experienced team of DLG workers’ compensation professionals who together deliver outstanding representation to injured workers throughout California. Dordulian Law Group’s Workers’ Compensation Division provides every client, spanning all industries and job types, with unparalleled service and support.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation. We are here to answer all your questions and help you win your California COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim.
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