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COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Presumption

Education Brief

COVID-Specific Workers’ Compensation Presumption Law Goes Into Effect September 17

On September 17, 2020, Governor Newsom signed SB 1159 and it goes into effect immediately. This bill adopts a COVID-19 specific presumption in the workers’ compensation system for employees that test positive for COVID-19. The bill is retroactive to July 6, 2020 and expires on January 1, 2023.

The bill does four things:

  1. Codifies the Governor’s Executive Order that created a presumption in the workers’ compensation system, from March 19 – July 5 for employees that were required to leave their home to go to work during the stay-at-home order;
  2. Creates a presumption in the workers’ compensation system for fire, police and hospital employees;
  3. Creates a presumption in the workers’ compensation system for employees working in other workplaces that experience an “outbreak”; and
  4. Requires the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation to evaluate the impact of these presumptions on the workers’ compensation system.

Recommended for:

Health care professionals including: chief compliance officers, in-house general counsel & legal staff, human resource professionals, and risk managers.

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