Our office is not representing or advising workers concerning Coronavirus COVID-19. Because people have asked us questions, we can restate what the State of Wisconsin is advising. For more information, please contact the State of Wisconsin DWD at (608) 266-1340.
Answering the question, Am I covered by worker’s compensation if I contract coronavirus?, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development states:
For coronavirus to be covered by worker’s compensation it must be established that contracting the disease was work-related. In other words there must be evidence to prove that contracting coronavirus arose out of your employment while you were performing services growing out of and incidental to your employment.
Answering the question, Should an employer disclose if an employee has been diagnosed with coronavirus disease?, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services states:
According to CDC guidance, if an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The fellow employees should then self-monitor for symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath).
As a secondary matter, the coronavirus Wisconsin Safer at Home order should have no legal effect on an otherwise valid workers compensation claim in Wisconsin. The only caveat is practical in terms of time. The DWD workers compensation department is not holding in person hearings at this time making which makes it more difficult to resolve cases. Attorneys can still accept new cases and investigate cases, although client meetings and contact must be over the telephone and through the computer. Also, it will take longer to collect medical records and bills as both legal and medical offices are not running at full steam.
A special shout out to the essential and frontline workers who are risking and working to give us some sense of normalcy in protecting and meeting our basic needs. There are many, but our personal friends include police, fire, doctors, nurses, other health care providers and caregivers, grocery store workers and delivery persons. THANK YOU.
McCormick Law Office attorneys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin have represented injured workers with back injuries since 1982. We will continue to work through this difficult time. It is a time of uncertainty and anxiety for many people and patience is often a luxury not all can easily afford. That said we look forward to everyone enjoying safe health and a better economy on the other side of this.