In years past, some essential workers' like police officers and firefighters have had laws passed to create presumptions for particular injuries. For example, firefighters that contract lung cancer have a specific statute that applies to them and says their cancer is presumed to be industrial. They need not provide any other evidence that connects the cancer to their job. An employee that does not have a cancer presumption would need medical records and an opinion from a medical doctor that proves by a, preponderance of the evidence, the cancer was caused by exposure to carcinogens at work. A police officer that develops a back injury is usually entitled to a "duty belt" presumption that says that their back injury is presumed to be industrial.
Likewise, as the Legislature looks at the current situation, new laws are being considered that will create that provide, some essential workers, will be presumed to have been infected at work and are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These may include police officers and firefighters, who have traditionally enjoyed presumptions, but also, doctors, nurses and EMTs. The question is will grocery clerks, food service and package delivery people be included? We will be watching how the Legislature acts to help injured workers in this incredible time for workers' throughout California.