Many workers are concerned about contracting Coronavirus while at work. Fortunately, there is now a worker’s compensation protocol for essential workers (including law enforcement, firefighters, correctional facility worker, health care workers and paramedics, as well as education workers and those providing childcare) if they contract it at work on or after April 8, 2020.
How to file
Employees do not need to be tested to qualify. However, they do need a positive lab test or a diagnosis by a qualified medical professional. Once there is evidence that it is COVID-19 that they contracted during work, the employee needs to:
- Notify their employer as soon as possible after showing symptoms. Keep in mind there is a limit on how long the worker can wait before notifying the employer.
- Keep accurate records on when they developed symptoms and when they notified their employer.
- Seek medical help from a qualified professional or take a COVID-19 test. If testing is not available, the worker should document the signs of the illness.
- Provide a copy of the test results or diagnosis to the employer or the worker’s compensation insurer.
As noted previously on this blog, Minnesota’s HF 4537 bill outlines the law’s requirements for how the illness qualifies as an “occupational disease” directly related to the individual’s “course of employment.”
Legal guidance may still be necessary
It is common for insurers to dispute a worker’s valid claim. In cases such as these, it is often necessary to seek the guidance of an attorney who has experience with worker’s compensation disputes here in Minnesota. These legal professionals can help workers get the compensation they deserve.