There are people still working throughout the Coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, many people are still becoming infected with the virus, and these people will need to self quarantine or be hospitalized.
The issue is whether or not a person who gets Coronavirus can obtain worker’s compensation benefits, if they are unable to work because of the virus.
Since a virus is not an “accident,” the issue is really whether Coronavirus can be considered an “occupational disease.”
Connecticut law states: CGS 31-275 (15) “Occupational disease” includes any disease peculiar to the occupation in which the employee was engaged and due to causes in excess of the ordinary hazards of employment as such, and includes any disease due to or attributable to exposure to or contact with any radioactive material by an employee in the course of his employment. see Niedzwicki v. Pequonnock Foundry, 133 Conn. 78, 48 A.2d 369; Glodenis v. American Brass Co., 118 Conn. 29, 37, 170 A. 146
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus is not peculiar to any occupation. The virus spreads randomly among people in the community. Therefore, anyone infected with Coronavirus is not entitled to worker’s compensation benefits in the State of Connecticut.
On the other hand, there can be occupational disease due to exposure to asbestos, or a chemical compound, which exposure is particular to a particular type of worker.
A further explanation of Connecticut law can be found at https://www.cga.ct.gov/PS95/rpt/olr/htm/95-R-1068.htm
If you believe that you have been injured at work because of an occupational disease, please feel free to contact
Attorney Robert M. Singer, 2572 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518
Serving New Haven County and all of Connecticut