As expected, the largest workers’ compensation market in the country has rendered the opinion that it is presumed that anyone that is employed outside of their house has contracted the virus at work. Prior to this order or COVID for that matter the total cost of loss in the California system was predicted to be $18.1 B. The median risk load as a result if you include “First Responders” is $11.2 B, or 61%. If you exclude “First Responders”, the additional cost expected is $5.2 B, or a risk load or 28%.
It will be interesting how insurance carriers and those on large deductibles react to this.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Governor’s Press Office Wednesday, May 6, 2020 (916) 445-4571
Governor Newsom Announces Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Workers who Contract COVID-19 During Stay at Home Order
Benefit will be available for diagnosed workers working outside their homes
Presumption will be workers contracted the virus at work; employers will have chance to rebut
Governor also signed executive order waiving penalties on property taxes for residents and small businesses experiencing economic hardship based on COVID-19; order also extends deadline for filing property tax statements
SACRAMENTO – As California prepares to enter Stage 2 of the gradual reopening of the state this Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced that workers who contract COVID-19 while on the job may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. The Governor signed an executive order that creates a time-limited rebuttable presumption for accessing workers’ compensation benefits applicable to Californians who must work outside of their homes during the stay at home order.
“We are removing a burden for workers on the front lines, who risk their own health and safety to deliver critical services to our fellow Californians, so that they can access benefits, and be able to focus on their recovery,” said Governor Newsom. “Workers’ compensation is a critical piece to reopening the state and it will help workers get the care they need to get healthy, and in turn, protect public health.”
Those eligible will have the rebuttable presumption if they tested positive for COVID-19 or were diagnosed with COVID-19 and confirmed by a positive test within 14 days of performing a labor or service at a place of work after the stay at home order was issued on March 19, 2020. The presumption will stay in place for 60 days after issuance of the executive order.
The Governor also signed an executive order that waives penalties for property taxes paid after April 10 for taxpayers who demonstrate they have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic through May 6, 2021. This will apply to residential properties and small businesses. Additionally, the executive order will extend the deadline for certain businesses to file Business Personal Property Statements from tomorrow to May 31, 2020, to avoid penalties.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives and livelihoods of many, and as we look toward opening our local communities and economies, we want to make sure that those that have been most impacted have the ability to get back on their feet,” said Governor Newsom.
Since declaring a state of emergency due to COVID-19 on March 4, 2020, Governor Newsom has taken several actions to benefit workers on the front lines, includingpaid sick leave benefits for food sector workers that are subject to a quarantine or isolation order; critical child support services for essential workers and vulnerable populations; additional weekly unemployment benefits; and needed assistance in the form of loans for small businesses and job opportunities in critical industries for workers that have been displaced by the pandemic.