Is My Employer Liable if I Got COVID-19 at Work?
Essential employees are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals are those who “conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continue critical infrastructure operations,” and include first responders, grocery store employees, restaurant workers, public transportation operators, and more.
Since essential employees come into contact with a great number of people every day, they are at a much higher risk of COVID-19 exposure than others. To that end, their employers must provide reasonable accommodations to safeguard against the virus.
If you are an essential employee, learn whether your employer can be held responsible for you contracting COVID-19 at work.
How Employers Should Protect Workers During COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put forth guidelines for employers to protect their workers during COVID-19. It’s important to note that these are simply guidelines—they are not enforceable mandates. However, if you feel like your employer is not taking reasonable measures to provide a hazard-free environment, then you may file a complaint with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
According to the CDC, employers should take the following precautions during the pandemic:
- Encourage sick employees to stay home.
- Conduct daily in-person or virtual health checks.
- Identify where and how employees might be exposed to COVID-19.
- Encourage workers to wear cloth face coverings.
- Take action if an employee is suspected to have COVID-19.
What to Do if You Think You Got COVID-19 at Work
If you believe you contracted COVID-19 at work, either because your employer forced you back to work too early or because your employer did not implement proper safety precautions, you may be eligible for compensation.
However, it is important to note that suing your employer for your COVID-19 infection can be an uphill battle. This is because it is difficult to prove that you contracted the virus at work as opposed to somewhere else, like your home or public transportation.
Working with an experienced attorney is the first step to exploring your legal options and pursuing compensation. Depending on your unique situation, you may have a workers’ compensation claim or something similar. Our attorneys at Shrader & Associates L.L.P. can help you figure out your options and recover compensation for medical treatment.
Call Shrader & Associates L.L.P. at (877) 958-7920 to schedule a consultation.