Infected Healthcare Workers Receive Workers Compensation Protection in Washington State
The State of Washington, the first place in the United States to have a massive outbreak of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, announced that it is taking steps to ensure that healthcare workers quarantined or infected as a result of exposure to the coronavirus at work will receive protections under the State’s workers’ compensation laws. While COVID-19 infections are on the rise among healthcare workers in the Lowcountry, the State of South Carolina has not made any announcements related to workers’ compensation coverage for South Carolina’s infected healthcare workers.
However, the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission has at least acknowledged that it would soon be receiving claims related to COVID-19 injuries, announcing the creation of a new cause of injury code for “pandemic” and a new nature of injury code for “COVID-19.”
Fortunately, from its past successes representing workers harmed by workplace exposures to diseases like hepatitis and Legionnaire’s disease, the lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm know that healthcare workers contracting COVID-19 should be protected by and entitled to compensation under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.
Healthcare workers in South Carolina are facing a significantly heightened risk of contracting COVID-19.
If a nurse, doctor or another healthcare worker who is practicing social distancing outside of work contracts the coronavirus, we believe that that employee will be able to obtain workers’ compensation coverage.
Now is an especially important time for healthcare workers to understand that the workers’ compensation laws and the Steinberg Law Firm are here to help them as they fight to contain this pandemic. The Firm published a post covering common questions related to COVID-19 and workers’ compensation, which is available on the Firm’s website and which has been distributed to nurses’ organizations and others. We are incredibly grateful for the hard, dangerous work South Carolina’s healthcare professionals are performing in these difficult times, and we are here to stand behind those professionals and help them in any way we can. Focus on your jobs and know that we are here to assist you.