People who are exposed to COVID-19 at work might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if the contract the virus. Normally, people are not able to receive workers’ compensation benefits when they catch common illnesses like the cold at their jobs. However, COVID-19 is changing the landscape, and workers may be eligible to recover benefits by filing workers’ compensation benefits claims. In Nevada, employees are generally not able to file lawsuits against their employers because of the availability of workers’ compensation benefits. The only exception occurs when the employer acts deliberately with the intent to injure an employee. Employers should implement safety measures to protect their workers from being exposed to COVID-19 at work. 

CDC Guidelines for COVID-19 Safety

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that employers take several safety measures to protect their employees from being exposed to COVID-19 at work. Employers should conduct temperature screens each day before the employees begin work. During the workday, the employees should continue to monitor themselves for symptoms and immediately report any that they might experience. Employees should also wear masks and maintain a distance of at least six feet from other workers if it is possible in the workplace. All areas should be disinfected regularly. Any worker who becomes ill during the day should immediately be sent home. Employers of workers who test positive should create a list of all of the workers who were exposed to the employee both at the time that he or she showed symptoms as well as for two days prior. 

Workers’ Comp for COVID-19

One of the problems with COVID-19 is that it can be difficult to prove that it was contracted because of workplace exposure. However, because of the pandemic, workers do not have to prove that they contracted it at work. Instead, it will be presumed to have occurred in the workplace when others have contracted the virus. Workers should carefully document their symptoms and when they started experiencing them. If they were called back to work as a non-essential worker after the stay-at-home order, they should document when they were called back. Fully documenting the case might help people to meet the requirements for filing workers’ compensation claims for benefits. 

People who believe that they contracted COVID-19 at work may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. They might receive coverage for their medical costs and disability benefits until they are able to return to work.