With the growing number of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases in Colorado, it's crucial to know what to do if one of your employees gets the virus. Part of that is understanding whether employees could claim workers’ compensation if they contract the virus. For such a claim to be admitted, the employee would have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the infection arose out of and in the course of employment.
This approach is similar to other claims of workplace exposure to contamination or illness. If the worker was on the clock and on the premises at the time of the exposure to the virus and can establish a causal connection between the duties of their employment and the infection, then the claim may be held compensable. If the virus is circulating widely in the community where the business is operating, it may be difficult for a worker to prove COVID-19 was contracted at work versus elsewhere. A worker will need to be able to trace the contraction of the virus to a particular time, place and cause in the workplace for it to be deemed compensable.
We will investigate and evaluate any claimed injury that occurs while working from home just as we would a claim in the workplace. We will determine whether the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment and arose out of the employment. Learn more about reporting suspected workers’ compensation injuries.
We want to ensure all Pinnacol customers and their employees can get tested quickly if they suspect they’ve been exposed or infected with COVID-19 as a result of their work. If you or your employees need to get tested, please contact the medical provider of your choice, and Pinnacol will pay for the COVID-19 testing. It is not necessary to go to one of your designated workers’ comp providers for the test.
If you or your employee believes there is a work-related exposure to COVID-19, we recommend you file a claim. Should the test results be positive, current state law regarding workplace exposures will apply in order for Pinnacol to pay for further COVID-19-related treatment and benefits.