We are already receiving phone calls from workers seeking a workers comp attorney in Santa Rosa who are concerned that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 (commonly referred to as the Coronavirus) at work. These callers are asking many questions such as “If I get sick, is this a work injury?”, and “What can I do to protect my rights in case I do get sick?”
Yes, infectious diseases can be contracted at work. However, for most workers, the problem will be proving that exposure to the virus was work-related. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
1- Follow the advice of medical and disaster relief professionals on how to minimize your risk. Such advice is freely available online from public health agencies and other sources. This advice includes important points like frequently washing your hands and avoiding large gatherings of people.
2- Seek medical attention immediately if you believe you are sick. Follow the treatment advice of your medical professional to minimize your risk.
3- Make notes and keep records of the nature and extent of your exposure. How were you exposed? When were you exposed? Where were you exposed? Are you having symptoms that you relate to the Coronavirus? Record all relevant information about your exposure and the problems you are having.
4- Report your exposure to your supervisor or manager immediately. Write down the name of the supervisor or manager to whom you reported the exposure when you reported the exposure, the information you reported, and what was said to you in response to your report.
5- File a claim form with your employer. For work injuries in California, you should ask your employer for a Workers Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1). If this form is not provided by your employer on request you can download one from the website of the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Workers Compensation at no cost.
You should complete the top portion of the form, keep a copy, and then give the form to your employer, keeping a record of who you gave it to and when.
It is very important to file the claim form with your employer as soon as possible to avoid late filing and possible loss of your rights.
For additional information and a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of Marc Francis, workers compensation attorney in Sonoma County. During these turbulent times, it is important to make sure that your rights as a worker are protected so that you have one less thing to worry about. Call us today at (707) 664-9675.