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Michigan Provides Workers’ Compensation Presumption to “COVID-19-Response Employees”

June 22, 2020

On June 17, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed an executive order that creates a presumption that any “COVID-19-response employee” who is confirmed as COVID-19 positive on or after March 18, 2020 shall be presumed to have suffered a personal injury for purposes of the Workers’ Compensation Disability Act.  As a result, this group of employees can more easily receive workers’ compensation benefits related to the virus. 

For purposes of this presumption, a COVID-19-response employee is defined as the following:

  1. A person who is required to report to work in any of these workplaces—an ambulance operation, a county medical care facility, an emergency response service, a home for the aged, a hospice, a hospital, or a nursing home,
  2. A person working in a home health agency or a visiting nurse association who is required to provide in-person medical care to patients,
  3. Any person working as a physician, physician assistant, licensed practical nurse, registered professional nurse, medical first responder, nurse, emergency medical technician, emergency medical technician specialist, paramedic, or respiratory therapist who is required to provide in-person medical care to patients,
  4. A law enforcement officer to the extent the law enforcement officer is required to report to work and interact with the general public,
  5. A motor carrier officer,
  6. A firefighter,
  7. A member of an emergency rescue team to the extent that the member is required to report to work and interact with the general public,
  8. A volunteer civil defense worker to the extent that the worker is required to report to work,
  9. An on-call member of a life support agency to the extent the member is required to report to work, and
  10. A state or local government employee that is required to work within the secured perimeter of a penal institution. 

If you have any questions about this or any other employment issue, please contact your relationship attorney or one of Honigman’s Labor and Employment attorneys.