Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order (EO) creating a rebuttable presumption of worker’s compensation coverage for employees who were directed to work outside the home from March 17 until approximately July 5 and have tested positive for COVID-19. Specifically, the order:
- Applies to any employee who reported to work outside of the home at the direction of their employer. The employee would need a positive test within 14 days of reporting to work at the direction of their employer.
- Is retroactive to 3/19/2020 and applies for 60 days following issuance of the EO (7/5/2020). There will be a 15 day period, starting today, where employees with dates of injury prior to 3/19 can file claims under the presumption.
- Applies if there is a positive test or a physician’s diagnosis, but a diagnosis must be followed by a positive test.
- Provides for statutory benefits only. No housing and living expenses.
- Reduces from 90 to 30 the number of days to determine compensability, but allow denials for “new information”.
- Requires temporary disability certification within the first 15 days after the initial diagnosis and recertification every 15 days for the first 45 days of the claim.