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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

New York Workers’ Compensation After Coronavirus

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States grows past 100,000, many companies have sent workers home for what is still an uncertain length of time. There are also reports of employers requiring workers to physically report to work during the COVID-19 outbreak as well as details about several people getting coronavirus while on the job.

Many employees in New York are left to wonder whether they will be eligible for workers’ compensation if they get coronavirus. The following reviews some critical details about New York workers’ compensation in the age of coronavirus.

Most Types of Workers are Covered

Many types of New York workers qualify for workers’ compensation. If a person is employed by a company and receives a regular salary wage, they will likely qualify for workers’ compensation. Some types of qualifying workers include:

  • Construction workers
  • Emergency medical technicians
  • Emergency responders
  • Health care workers
  • Hospice and nursing home caregivers
  • News and media industry workers
  • Professional services employees
  • Restaurant and retail workers
  • Skilled trade workers
  • Teachers
  • Travel and hospitality workers

There are also several types of New York workers that are excluded from obtaining workers’ compensation. For example, workers who are classified as independent contractors are often not able to obtain workers’ compensation. Instead, the only option that independent contractors often have to obtain compensation for work-related coronavirus diagnosis is to pursue a negligence-based lawsuit.

New York Workers’ Compensation After Coronavirus

To receive workers’ compensation for coronavirus, a worker must establish that the worker got sick on the job while acting in the scope of employment. Proving a work-related injury requires a worker to present clear evidence that he or she got the illness while on the job rather than at another location.

Understandably, establishing this link is often challenging. Because the symptoms of coronavirus often appear between 2 to 14 days following exposure, workers often find it difficult to show the exact cause of the illness.

To qualify for workers’ compensation, a worker need not have gotten sick at his or her normal workplace. Instead, a worker is only required to show that he or she was acting within the scope of employment when coming into contact with the coronavirus. Some situations in which workers can qualify for workers’ compensation include:

  • Attending a work conference
  • Going to a store for work purposes
  • Traveling to work
  • Visiting with clients

Establishing Employer Fault is Not Necessary

New York workers’ compensation is classified as no-fault, which means that an employer need not be at fault for a worker’s exposure to coronavirus. Even if an employer follows the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations and takes all adequate precautions, workers can often still qualify for workers’ compensation if they are injured or fall sick while at work.

Speak With a Workers’ Rights Lawyer

Wondering about workers’ compensation after coronavirus? Speak with a knowledgeable attorney at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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