Governor Newsom signed SB 1159 into law impacting COVID-19 related Workers’ Compensation Coverage and creating new notice and reporting requirements related to COVID-19 workplace exposures.
What is the new law SB1159 and when does it take effect?
- It is a California law that was signed on September 17, 2020 and will carry through until January 1, 2023
- It extends the Governor’s prior Executive Order regarding workers’ comp insurance that also covers COVID-19 in the workplace.
What are the Employer requirements under the updated law SB1159?
- This affects anything COVID related that occurred on or after July 6, 2020. COVID cases prior to July 6 were covered by the Governor’s prior Executive order
- SB 1159 also requires an employee to exhaust any COVID-19 related supplemental paid sick leave benefits (For example, Emergency Paid Sick Leave or California’s supplemental paid sick leave under AB 1867) and meet certain certification requirements before receiving temporary disability benefits or an industrial injury leave of absence.
- SB1159 applies if the employee works for an employer with five or more employees and the employee tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after reporting to their place of employment
- Employers then need to submit, in writing (email or FAX) information to their workers’ compensation carrier claims department within 3 business days if an employee has tested positive and has been present on any company job site
What are some of the other important, early considerations of the new law?
- There are a lot of things to report and an employer must be careful to not release personal information, unless that employee has filed a claim.
- If it is not done correctly or is not done at all, the business could face a $10,000.00 fine.
- These requirements are very specific and a business needs to be very careful. Having a close relationship with a knowledgeable HR professional and insurance agent is key.
- It is uncertain if the carriers are ready for the massive load of claims that will be coming at them in the next 30 to 60 days and the subsequent case load.
- Many businesses are unaware of this new requirement and that it is retroactive to July 6, 2020
- There is a lot more to know and understand…. Please connect with your insurance and HR professional right away so you are aware in the event a positive case surfaces.
Click the link to read the entire law. Please let us know how we can help and if we can answer any questions. Any questions, thoughts or comments, please contact us, we are here to help you:
The CorrectComp system is a division of Stromsoe Insurance Agency