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CT Governor Signs Executive Order No. 7JJJ to Protect Essential Workers Exposed to COVID-19

On July 24th, Governor Ned Lamont signed Executive Order No. 7JJJ, which creates a presumption that exposure to COVID-19 is work-related for workers on the front lines between March 10th and May 20th. It eliminates employees’ need to go through a protracted appeals process through the state Workers’ Compensation Commission. This order amends Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-290a, creating additional liability for employers who interfere with such claims. Connecticut follows other states such as California and Arkansas in taking executive action to make it easier for workers to receive workers’ compensation benefits, granted the employee meets the following conditions:

  1. At the direction of the employer, the employee worked on-site during any of the two weeks before the date of “injury,” and had not received the option from the employer to work from home;
  2. If the date of the “injury” was after April 6th, 2020, the employee must be considered an “essential” worker as defined by the Department of Economic and Community Development;
  3. The employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis was confirmed and documented within three weeks of the injury by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse or by a positive lab test within three weeks of “injury”.
  4. A copy of the positive lab test or the written COVID-19 diagnosis is provided to the employer or insurer.

To rebut this presumption, an employer will be required to provide evidence that the employee did not contract COVID-19 during and in the course of their employment.

The Key Takeaway for Essential Workers

Employers are prohibited from discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against employees who file a workers’ compensation claim or exercise the rights granted under the law. Employers cannot deliberately misinform or discourage employees from filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Any employee who has been discharged, disciplined, or discriminated against, or has been misinformed or dissuaded from filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, may pursue civil action.

How Carter Mario Can Help

If you or a loved one contracted COVID-19 while carrying out responsibilities and tasks as an essential worker and need assistance filing your worker’s compensation claim, contact the lawyers at Carter Mario today by calling tel:(203) 806-9256 or submitting a free consultation form online.

With decades of combined legal experience helping clients obtain workers’ compensation benefits, the experienced Connecticut workers’ compensation attorneys know just what’s at stake, and we will fight for what you deserve.

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