The number of positive tests for COVID-19 continues to climb at an alarming rate. Now on the eve of schools starting, thousands of children have tested positive around the country. In light of this, many lucky enough to still have jobs find that they contracted the virus while at work. This means they need to stay home from work to avoid spreading the virus, but the good news is they can file for worker’s compensation.
Workers must take action
Any worker who knowingly contracted the virus must isolate themselves immediately or seek medical help if their condition becomes severe. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, other essential steps include:
- The worker should notify their employer as soon as they recognize the symptoms as COVID-19 – there are time limits for reporting any injury, including this one.
- The worker needs to keep records of when the symptoms appeared and notified their employer that they had the symptoms.
- The employee should seek medical help and schedule a test for COVID-19. If no tests were available, the worker should ask the health care provider to note this in the medical records. The doctor or nurse should also provide a diagnosis and judgment that the employee has COVID-19.
- The worker should provide a copy of the diagnosis or test results to their employer or the employer’s insurer.
Workers may need legal help
It is not unusual for employers to dispute a claim that the worker contracted an illness at work. This is called “rebutting,” but the employer must still file the injury claim with the insurer or representative. They will then notify the worker if the claim was denied or accepted.
If the claim is denied, the worker still has the option to appeal the decision with help from an attorney. A worker’s compensation attorney often can be invaluable to the sick or deceased worker and their family during this time.