Workers' Comp Retro Program

Published on Aug 04, 2020

COVID-19 and workers’ comp

Contact: Retro

The coronavirus continues to affect Retro member employees in many ways. Our first responders are out there on the frontlines and we want to be sure you have the most up to date information from Labor & Industries (L&I) in this changing environment.

Under workers’ comp, first responders who have contracted the virus and tested positive will continue to receive medical treatment and time loss for their quarantine period. What has changed is the compensation benefits paid to those employees exposed to a first responder who has contracted the virus and tested positive.

Who is covered?

Under L&I rules first responders and health workers are covered when their work activity has resulted in probable exposure and three criteria are met:

  • There was an increased risk or greater likelihood of contracting the condition due to the worker's occupation (such as a first responder or health care worker)?
  • If not for their job, would the worker have been exposed to the virus or contracted the condition?
  • Can the worker identify a specific source or event during the performance of his or her employment that resulted in exposure to the new coronavirus.

Who is not covered?

Employees such as office workers or anyone who is not a first responder or health care worker, will not meet the criteria of an allowed claim and their claim will be denied. It is likely the contraction of or the exposure to the virus is incidental to the workplace or common to all employment. However, Labor & Industries will evaluate all claims filed on a case by case basis and some exceptions will be made. For example, an office worker performing duties in a Police Department exposed to the virus and thus quarantined will likely have a covered workers’ comp claim.

Quarantined employees – recent changes

Some member cities have begun quarantining employees exposed to the virus from a first responder. For an exposure claim to be considered, it must meet the criteria AND the worker must have been quarantined by a public health officer (PHO) or physician because of that exposure.

Time-loss payments may be allowed for lost wages during the quarantine period of up to 14 days if, and only if, the employee was quarantined by a public health officer or physician. If an employee tests negative and is not quarantined by a PHO or physician, Labor & Industries will pay time loss compensation up to the day the employee was notified of a negative test result.

Filing a COVID-19 claim?

The most effective way to file a claim is during the medical evaluation. Tell your employees when they go to seek medical attention that this is a work-related exposure. First responders and other related employees may file a claim these three ways:

  • Online via FileFast.
    Note: If the employer is self-insured, file claims or bill directly to them.
  • By phone: 1-877-561-3453 (FILE).
  • At the doctor's office (complete the Report of Accident at the doctor's office, the doctor files the employee and the provider portion to L&I).

AWC Retro members, contact Retro staff for further questions on coverage or how to file a workplace COVID claim.

Additional information

Visit Labor & Industries’ website for further information on COVID in the workplace.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, go to the following websites:

  • Retro news
  • News
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