Workers Compensation executive order shifts burden of proof to employers

On May 6, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-62-20, that facilitates access to worker compensation benefits for employees if they contract COVID-19, by shifting the responsibility of proof to employers. Employers will have to prove employees did not contract COVID-19 at work to avoid a claim. According to a research brief released last month by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB), the annual cost of COVID-19 claims on essential critical infrastructure workers ranges from $2.2 billion to $33.6 billion.

The order applies to all essential workers and lasts for two months and retroactively covers those who tested positive for coronavirus within 14 days of working after Newsom’s March 19 stay-at-home order. CASBO was part of a coalition letter sent to Governor Newsom, raising concerns over the expansion of benefits in this economic environment and will continue to advocate on behalf of public schools.