Workers Comp and COVID-19

But what about everyone else?

It really comes down to which employees are infected and how they were infected. If one of your staff notified you that they became ill, were tested for COVID-19 and were diagnosed positive, many thoughts go through your mind. When did they last work? Who were they exposed to? How many days could they have been asymptomatic but expelling virus in my business? Could they have exposed virus to clients? What should I do if others become ill?

As I write this blog, this is playing out in the largest meat processing centers around the country. USA Today: Coronavirus at meatpacking plants worse than first thought

If this does happen to you, we would recommend filing workers comp claims for the other staff that were exposed to the first employee, who later show signs of illness. Here is why: Workers comp is designed to cover injuries AND disease that employees suffer in the workplace. While we can not determine where your “patient zero” was exposed, if you have a positive employee who was in your hospital and other staff become ill, you have more of an argument that the other staff most likely picked up COVID-19 working for you.

Luckily, most young people seem to shake this off and do not require hospitalization. But what about employees that are over-weight, smoke, have hypertension or a compromised immunity? Lets face it, most privately owned veterinary hospitals in the U.S. do not offer group health insurance due to the cost. For the compromised employees with no health insurance who later require hospitalization for COVID-19, represent a serious financial hardship for them and possible exposure to your business if it can be proven they were exposed working in your hospital.