At the beginning of March 2020, the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, which means that the virus is widely spread. Being diagnosed with the virus can lead to mild symptoms, while the disease results in death for others.
As the country recovers from the pandemic, one question that lingers is whether the disease will qualify as a workers’ compensation claim. In the state of Ohio, illnesses as well as injuries that are contracted during the course of employment are compensable. The following examines how Ohio workers’ compensation laws will apply to COVID-19.
Workers’ Compensation Laws in Ohio
Workers’ compensation law in Ohio requires a causal relationship between a person’s medical condition and their employment. This factor must have come from the scope of a person’s employment activity, even if it was a task that the worker does not frequently perform. Consequently, workers must establish that they developed the condition during the course of employment.
The Relationship Between Ohio Law and COVID-19
Even though Ohio workers’ compensation law has been in existence for some time, a question remains of how an injured worker can establish that they contracted an illness while on the job instead of through a non-work-related activity.
Understandably, it is often challenging for workers to establish that they contracted an illness while on the job. Because COVID-19 is a virus that has spread through many parts of our daily lives, workers will face a challenging task of connecting the virus to a task they performed while on the job.
Injured workers must present medical evidence connecting the injury to work activity, which means that a medical professional must provide an opinion supporting this connection. Ohio law places the burden on workers to establish this connection.
Workers also must eliminate other potential sources that could have resulted in coronavirus. As a result, workers who are interested in establishing a connection between the coronavirus and their position have a difficult road ahead. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help establish this connection.
Work at Home Injuries, COVID-19, and Compensation
A slightly related question to pursuing COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims involves workers who are injured while at home. The pandemic has resulted in many Ohio workers having to perform their positions at home. A question remains, however, about what will happen if a person experiences an injury while working from home.
The answer to this question is that workers might have valid Ohio workers’ compensation claims if they can establish that they experienced an injury while working remotely. An injured worker must have sustained the injury while performing employment-related tasks, and not while performing personal activities.
Speak with an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you are interested in pursuing a workers’ compensation claim related to COVID-19, you are likely to face many obstacles. To help pursue these claims, it can help to retain the assistance of an experienced attorney. Contact Dworken & Bernstein today to schedule a free case evaluation.