I contracted coronavirus at work ⁠— is my company to blame?

You’ve contracted coronavirus disease while on the clock, now what? If your employer didn’t take state orders or federal law seriously, then they could be accountable for your illness and you could receive compensation.

Falling ill with a new and contagious disease puts you and those around you in danger. This can create lasting stress even after a full recovery. Medical bills, loss of income or helping take care of family members who caught the disease from you could all set your back financially.

Once you’re back to full health, it could be worth your time to see if your employer followed basic procedures to protect you during this pandemic.

Workplace safety

As you try to build a case for workers’ comp due to COVID-19, it’s important to note the precautionary measures taken by your employer in this time of uncertainty. Here are some questions to consider if you plan to file a claim:

  • Am I essential? Even if the statewide stay-at-home order was in place at the time you contracted the disease, your duties may still fall under essential work per federal COVID-19 guidelines. The governor recently announced a new state rule for first responders in Missouri to easily collect workers’ comp if they’ve contracted the virus. On the other hand, if your work doesn’t involve protecting or saving others, then your employer might not have had the right to require your physical attendance.
  • Should I travel? It’s possible that you contracted coronavirus while on a business trip. Your employer’s knowledge of travel advisories or their ignorance of the pandemic and decision to make you travel regardless both demonstrate a level of carelessness. Your company could have violated the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act if they knew a trip could put you at risk.
  • Is my office clean? Your employer should have taken action to align with COVID-19 standards set locally and nationally. Enforcing social distancing in the workplace, supplying proper hand-washing stations and providing extra sanitization in common places. These are just some of the tactics your company may have taken to look after you and your coworkers.

Doing your job in-person or travelling for business were the norm just weeks ago, but if your company enforced either with neglect to new standards you could qualify for relief. Keep in mind that in Missouri, you have two years from your injury or one year from your last paycheck to file a workers’ comp claim.

Legal representation

Seeking justice from your employer isn’t an easy undertaking, especially under the special circumstances happening across the globe. Getting legal aid can help ease the process.