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July 10, 2020

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California Will Presume COVID-19 Infections Arose From On-Site Work Performed After March 19

On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20, which creates a time-limited rebuttable presumption that workers who are still reporting to their employer’s workplace and who test positive for COVID-19 are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  Specifically, the Order provides that any COVID-19-related illness of an employee shall be “presumed to arise out of and in the course of the employment” if the following four conditions are satisfied:

  • The employee tested positive or was diagnosed with COVID-19 infection within 14 days after the employee performed work at the employee’s place of employment;

  • The employee’s services were performed at the employee’s workplace at the direction of the employer on or after March 19, 2020;

  • The employee’s place of employment was not the employee’s home; and

  • If the COVID-19 diagnosis was made without a positive COVID-19 test result, the diagnosis was made by a physician licensed by the California Medical Board and that diagnosis is confirmed by further testing within 30 days of the diagnosis.

The Order provides that the above presumption is rebuttable “and may be controverted by other evidence.”  However, absent such evidence, the Order requires the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board to find an employee’s COVID-19 infection arose in the course and scope of employment.  The Order provides that this presumption shall apply only for injuries (i.e., COVID-19 infections) occurring in the 60-day period following the Order’s issuance.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP. National Law Review, Volume X, Number 128

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About this Author

Anthony J Oncidi, Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm
Partner

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office. Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection....

310-284-5690
Associate

Philippe (Phil) A. Lebel represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblower, trade secrets, and breach of contract litigation, in both the single-plaintiff and class-action context, at both the trial and appellate level, and before administrative agencies. Phil also represents employers in connection with labor law matters, such as labor arbitrations and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. Additionally, Phil counsels clients to ensure compliance with federal and state labor and employment laws and assists a variety of companies and financial firms in evaluating labor and employment issues in connection with corporate transactions. Phil also has experience assisting employers with sensitive employee investigations.

Phil has assisted clients with labor and/or employment issues in a wide array of sectors including in the entertainment, financial services, fitness, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, insurance, education, media, high-tech, biotech, manufacturing, transportation, professional services, and staffing industries, among others.

Phil regularly speaks on emerging issues for employers and has been published or quoted in Law360, the Daily JournalBusiness Insurance, and SHRM.org regarding a variety of labor and employment law topics.

+1.310.284.4558