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Bill would make COVID-19 compensable for warehouse workers


Lawmakers in New Jersey on Thursday introduced legislation that would make a COVID-19 infection compensable for workers in warehouses or distribution centers during a public health emergency declared by an executive order of the governor.


A.B. 4784 states that “there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the contraction of the disease is work-related and fully compensable for the purposes of benefits provided” under state law, including ordinary and accidental disability retirement, and any other benefits provided to individuals suffering injury or illness through the course of their employment. 


The “prima facie presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence showing that the employee was not exposed to the disease while working in the distribution center or warehouse,” a draft of the bill states.


The bill also states that any workers compensation claim paid related to COVID-19 would not be considered in calculating an employer’s experience modification factor, a factor that typically affects premium based on claim activity.


If passed, the bill would take effect immediately and would be retroactive to March 9. The bill now sits with the Referred to Assembly Labor Committee.


More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here




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