Seattle, WA (WorkersCompensation.com) – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state is taking steps to ensure health care workers and first responders who contract the coronavirus will be covered by workers’ compensation.
Joel Sacks, director for Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries, said the department is immediately changing its policy to cover healthcare workers and first responders who are quarantined by a physician or public health officer, during the time they are quarantined, after being exposed on the job.
“These healthcare workers and first responders are protecting our communities,” Inslee said in a statement. “They need to know that we have their backs. This is the right thing to do.”
Workers’ compensation for first responders and healthcare workers in Wash. would cover the cost of medical testing, treatment expenses and time lost payments for those who can’t work due to illness or quarantine, the governor said.
“Healthcare workers and first responders are playing a key role in the COVID-19 response,” Sacks said in the statement. “We need them to go to work knowing they will be taken care of if they are exposed to this new coronavirus and have to be quarantined or get sick.”
The department also encouraged businesses to pay sick healthcare workers and first responders who have to stay home after being exposed to the virus, as a workers’ compensation payment is only a partial payment.