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Colorado Senate introduces COVID-19 presumption bill

first responders

Colorado lawmakers introduced legislation to extend workers compensation protections to essential workers who contract coronavirus on the job.

S.B. 216, introduced Tuesday by Democratic Sen. Robert Rodriguez, creates a rebuttable presumption for essential workers who are diagnosed with coronavirus that they believe was caused by COVID-19 in the course and scope of their employment.

The bill states that an essential worker will be considered to have contracted COVID-19 on the job if they test positive for the virus, are diagnosed by a licensed physician or have COVID-19 listed as a cause of death on the worker’s death certificate.

The legislation classifies essential workers as first responders, including 911 operators, corrections officers, health care personnel, home health workers, custodians cleaning in facilities that treat coronavirus patients, utility workers, technicians or maintenance workers conducting work in facilities treating patients with coronavirus, food processing workers, grocery store workers, mass transit drivers, airline workers and food service and catering workers.

Employers may rebut the presumption by providing “clear and convincing evidence of specific causation” establishing that the worker did not contract the virus through their employment.

The bill would take effect upon being signed into law and would apply retroactively to the start of Colorado’s stay-at-home order in March. The legislation also provides that the law would sunset June 21, 2022.

S.B. 216 has been assigned to the Senate’s finance committee for further review. 

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here







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