Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order on COVID-19 Workers Comp Presumption
May 6, 2020 – Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order (N-62-20) that will make it easier for essential workers who contract COVID-19 to obtain workers’ compensations benefits in a win for labor unions that called for the change.
The order streamlines workers’ compensation claims and establishes a rebuttable presumption that any essential workers infected with COVID-19 contracted the virus on the job, Newsom said.
In effect, the change shifts the burden of proof that typically falls on workers and instead requires companies or insurers to prove that the employees didn’t get sick at work.
The executive order covers firefighters, law enforcement officers, nurses and all essential workers who were asked to continue serving their communities during the stay at home order, at risk of contracting COVID-19 while on-the-job.
“This workers comp presumption is so important, because we want people to feel confident and comfortable, they’ll have their benefits,” Newsom said. “The whole idea is, as we move into this second phase, we want to keep workers healthy and keep them safe”