Can sick employees seek benefits through workers’ compensation?

California employees have the right to seek benefits and support in the event that they experience some type of accident in the workplace. They can also pursue workers’ compensation benefits if they become ill as a result of toxic exposure or contagions in the workplace. This is a prominent concern in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak, especially for those who work in the health care industry. 

Cal/OSHA has provided guidelines for employers in the health care industry so they can protect workers against the threat of this dangerous virus. It is the role and the responsibility of health care employers to shield workers’ physical well-being as much as reasonably possible. One of the ways they can do this is by providing training to workers, including how to recognize signs and symptoms of the virus.

Workers should also know how the disease spreads and what steps they can take to minimize exposure. If necessary, they should have access to important safety equipment, such as respirators, and training on how to use it properly. While it is often difficult to stop or slow the spread of a virus, the people on the front lines of caring for the sick should have every possible tool available to them that can help them stay safe and well.

If a California employee does develop any type of sickness because of his or her employment requirements, it may be appropriate to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. Through this insurance, coverage of medical bills and lost wages is possible. It may help to seek an explanation of the benefits available and the application process.

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