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Hawaii lawmakers on Wednesday joined at least a dozen states so far in 2021 to propose legislation that would make COVID-19 a compensable illness under workers compensation.
H.B. 1224 would add language to the state’s existing presumption laws, stating that an illness is compensable if “COVID-19 has been proximately caused by an employer's failure to maintain adequate workplace protections against exposure to the novel coronavirus."
Oklahoma lawmakers this week pre-filed a bill for introduction on Feb. 1 that would apply a COVID-19 presumption to first responders.
H.B. 2239 states that if a first responder tests positive for COVID-19, “the disease shall be presumed to have been contracted in the course and scope of employment unless the employer proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the disease was not contracted in the course and scope of employment.”
Both bills would go into effect immediately following passage.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
Lawmakers in two states have introduced legislation would make COVID-19 an occupational injury by presumption, potentially joining the wave of laws and executive orders currently in place in 19 states and introduced as legislation in 11 states so far in 2021.