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Lawmakers in several states took action Wednesday on bills that would create a presumption of compensability for essential workers who acquire COVID-19.
In the Virginia House of Delegates, lawmakers unanimously passed H.B. 1985, which creates a rebuttable presumption for health care workers who, as part of their employment, are directly involved in treating patients with or suspected to have COVID-19. However, the presumption would not apply to health care providers who were offered and refused a COVID-19 vaccine, unless they can produce evidence from their physician that the vaccine would have posed a significant risk to their health.
The bill, which will now go to the state’s Senate for consideration, would be retroactive to March 12, 2020, and expire Dec. 31, 2021.
In Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott signed into law an extension of the state’s COVID-19 presumption for essential workers. The bill passed the state’s House and Senate in late January; no roll call was recorded.
The legislation extends the rebuttable presumption for frontline workers to July 1, 2021.
In North Dakota, lawmakers voted not to implement a COVID-19 rebuttable presumption for essential workers. H.B. 1433 failed in a 77-16 vote in the state’s House of Representatives.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
Oklahoma lawmakers prefiled legislation to be introduced Feb. 1 that would make it easier for first responders who acquire COVID-19 on the job to receive workers compensation.