Workers' compensation laws typically provide benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses, but the question of whether COVID-19 qualifies as a compensable workplace illness is more complicated. In this blog, we will explore the laws surrounding workers' compensation and COVID-19 in Florida, and provide guidance on what employees should do if they believe they have contracted COVID-19 while on the job.
Workers' Compensation and Workplace Injuries
Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that employers are required to carry that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job duties. These benefits may include medical treatment, wage replacement, disability payments, and other measures to help injured workers recover and return to work.
COVID-19 and Workers' Compensation in Florida
When it comes to COVID-19, workers' compensation may provide benefits for workers who contract the virus while on the job. However, it can be difficult to prove that the disease was contracted due to workplace conditions. To qualify for workers' compensation for COVID-19, the employee must be able to prove that:
- They contracted the virus at work
- Contracting the virus was a direct result of their job duties
- They did not have substantial non-work-related exposure to the virus.
Given the contagious nature of COVID-19 and the widespread transmission throughout the community, it can be challenging to establish that the illness was contracted at work.
What to Do if You Believe You Have Contracted COVID-19 at Work
If you believe you have contracted COVID-19 at work, there are several steps you should take to protect your health and legal rights:
- Notify Your Employer: Notify your employer promptly if you believe you have contracted COVID-19 at work, and keep a record of your notification.
- Seek Medical Treatment: Seek medical treatment as soon as possible and provide your medical provider with a detailed description of your symptoms and your belief that you contracted the virus at work.
- Document Everything: Keep detailed records of your experiences related to COVID-19, including work-related activities that may have exposed you to the virus.
- File a Workers' Compensation Claim: If you believe you contracted COVID-19 at work, consider filing a workers' compensation claim to ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to under the law.
- Work with an Experienced Attorney: An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help ensure that your legal rights are protected and assist you in navigating the complex legal system.
While it can be difficult to prove that COVID-19 was contracted as a result of workplace conditions, workers' compensation may provide benefits to employees who have been infected with the virus while on the job. If you believe you have contracted COVID-19 at work, it is critical to take prompt action to protect your health and your legal rights. The experienced attorneys at Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A. can walk you through the process and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call us today at (888) 499-6206 to learn more about how we can help you through the workers’ compensation process.