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COVID-19 is now a compensable occupational illness for front-line workers in Washington state after Gov. Jay Inslee signed bills last week creating presumptions.
Both S.B. 5190 and S.B. 5115 apply to any infectious disease that is the subject of a public health emergency.
The first bill creates a presumption for health care workers who have direct contact with someone who has been exposed to or tested positive to a disease that is the subject of a public health emergency. The latter applies to front-line workers, which is broadly defined in the bill and includes first responders, transit agency drivers, food service workers, retail employees, hospital staff, home care aides and correctional officers.
Both bills state that employers can rebut the presumption with clear and convincing evidence that exposure occurred outside the workplace.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.