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Minnesota lawmakers on Monday introduced a bill that would make COVID-19 a compensable illness for those working in schools after two similar measures failed to gain traction in late 2020.
H.B. 37 states that an employee who contracts COVID-19 is presumed to have an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment if the employee works in a school. The bill covers teachers, administrators, bus drivers, custodians and school nutrition staff.
The contraction of COVID-19 must be confirmed by a positive laboratory test or, if such a test is not available, by a diagnosis by the employee’s licensed physician, licensed physician's assistant or licensed advanced practice registered nurse, based on the employee’s symptoms.
The presumption would only be rebutted “if the employer or insurer shows the employment was not a direct cause of the disease,” the bill states.
The measure would become effective the day following final enactment and apply retroactively for employees who contracted COVID-19 on or after July 15, 2020, with the law sunsetting on July 30, 2021.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed into law Tuesday evening legislation to provide worker compensation for first responders who contract COVID-19 on the job.