Over the last few weeks I have answered multiple calls from agencies unsure how to best approach worker’s compensation coverage for firefighters, medics, EMT’s, and police during the Coronavirus crisis. Given the proliferation of the virus and its ability to spread quickly through minimal contact, employers and employees alike wondered how proof of a workplace exposure could ever be proven or disproven in the new normal these emergency workers now inhabit. Fortunately, a portion of that unknown area has been addressed and some of the guesswork removed.
Acting pursuant to powers under the Governor’s Executive Orders 20-02 and 20-04, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Worker’s Compensation, has enacted Emergency Rule 8 CSR 50-5.005. This rule creates a presumption that any First Responder (as defined by RSMO 287.243) who has contracted or is quarantined for Covid-19 is presumed to have contracted the disease at work. Under the Emergency Rule firefighters and EMT’s will be presumed covered by worker’s compensation if any of the following occur:
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