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Worker’s Compensation during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Worker’s Compensation during the COVID-19 Outbreak

COVID-19 has created uncertainty in every aspect of our lives. Governor Holcomb has ordered non-essential workers to work from home for the time being, while permitting essential workers to continue to travel to their places of employment. These essential workers are key to ensuring public health and safety in the face of a global pandemic.

Whether working in a grocery store, hospital, or any other setting, essential workers are, by the nature of the viral threat posed by COVID-19, exposed to and highly susceptible to illness. Employees and employers alike are rightly asking whether an employee who may contract the coronavirus due to exposure at work may have a compensable worker’s compensation claim.

The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board has provided some broad guidance to consider the issue of compensability for an essential employee who falls ill from the coronavirus. Employers initially determine whether an employee who contracts the virus did so in the course and scope of their employment, and this will usually occur when the employee notifies the employer of the contraction of the virus. Employers would be well served to decide in advance whether their essential employees who are exposed to and/or particularly susceptible to the virus will be covered and receive worker’s compensation benefits if an employee has to be quarantined due to potential exposure, is diagnosed with the virus, or receives a presumptive or confirmed positive coronavirus diagnosis.

Whether you are an employer or an employee, if you would like to obtain more information about the potential compensability of a COVID-19 claim by an essential employee, please contact McNeelyLaw’s attorneys by visiting mcneelylaw.com or calling our office at 317-825-5110.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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