SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A new law designed to protect California workers now classifies COVID-19 illness as an injury under workers’ compensation if you contracted it within 14 days of an outbreak at work.

An outbreak is defined as four employees with COVID-19 for a small business (under 100 employees) or 4% of all employees at a larger business (more than 100 employees).

The law assumes employees contracted the virus at work unless their employer can prove otherwise, and that’s why some businesses are hiring private investigators.

If you get COVID-19 at work and plan to file a workers comp claim, be prepared to answer these questions provided by C&W Claims, a background information investigations firm.

  1. What level of quarantine have you followed outside of work prior to being diagnosed?
  2. Are there other possible exposure locations for this employee, i.e., a school, an event that was not yet canceled, stores, restaurants, gyms, visiting someone in a hospital recently?
  3. What other family members are in the household and have they had any known exposures? (Names, Symptoms, Treatment)
  4. Have you had respiratory problems in the past? Prior pneumonia? Pre-existing conditions like asthma or allergies? Where did they treat? (Name/place/address/phone number)
  5. Have you ever smoked cigarettes, vaped, drank alcohol, used recreational drugs?
  6. How often do/did you visit relatives who don’t haven’t lived with you during the outbreak? Were they sick? When? How? Symptoms?
  7. If a positive test result: when, where, who? Get the address of the location, and/or phone number and the proper name.
  8. How many children do you have? Did they bring home anything? When? What school did/do they go to?
  9. When did the school shut down, or when did they stop going?
  10. What were the last few restaurants you went to? When? Where?
  11. Ask about safety protocol at work? Were other employees adhering to them?
  12. Did management follow up and enforce protocols?

Because COVID-19 could lead to long-term health issues, like lung or heart problems, the claims can be ongoing, which is investigators’ searches go beyond virus exposure.