Even as Wisconsin businesses are gradually reopening, cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in the state. Will the recent rise in virus cases slow the reopening? No one yet knows, and because these matters are so fluid, it’s unwise to make predictions.
However, we do know that, employees with COVID-19 are eligible for Wisconsin workers’ compensation benefits, just as workers with other illnesses and injuries are eligible. But there is a big COVID-19 catch: a medical expert likely must establish that the worker contracted the virus while working.
That can be done, of course, but it can be challenging. In these cases, it makes sense to discuss matters with an attorney knowledgeable in workers’ comp law.
In April, Governor Evers signed into law a bill that altered Wisconsin workers’ comp law. One of the changes stipulated that when a first responder contracted COVID-19, the workers’ comp system was to presume that it was work-related. That aspect of the law has now lapsed.
So first responders will also need a supporting statement from a medical expert, as described above.
Some of the Milwaukee workers in jobs with significant risks of coronavirus exposure include physicians, EMTs, RNs, LPNs, certified nursing assistants, law enforcement officers, firefighters, corrections officers and nursing home staff.
Other occupations that can also have real risks of virus exposure, depending on circumstances, include food service employees, grocery store workers, delivery drivers, manufacturing workers, retail employees and others.