Working as a paramedic, EMT or EMS poses inherent dangers, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. As part of your duties, you are required to go into homes that are not your own and administer hands-on medical assistance to individuals in need.
The Minnesota legislature acknowledged these inherent risks and recently passed HF 4537. Effective April 8, 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19) was designated as an occupational disease. Any paramedic or emergency medical technician who contracts COVID-19 is presumed to have an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment. In other words, if you test positive for COVID-19 by a lab or licensed physician, P.A. or APRN, it is presumed the illness is work-related. It is likely your employer has specific COVID-19 sick leave measures in place.
Exposing yourself to new places and potentially symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 puts you at a higher risk of contracting the virus. If you are exposed to COVID-19, you should follow your doctor and employer’s restrictions for self-quarantining. You should know, however, all reasonable and necessary medical care that is necessary to cure or relieve the effects of COVID-19 should be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. This includes, but is not limited to, wage loss, doctor appointments, necessary testing, and mileage to and from appointments. Your employer should not require you to use any of your personal sick or vacation time as these benefits are covered by Minnesota workers’ compensation.
As you are aware, we are living in unprecedented times. The long-term effects are unknown. What may start as a mild illness can quickly turn into something more serious. It is important to establish your work comp claim at its inception to ensure all of your benefits are properly paid.
Stay up to date with the latest and watch other videos directly addressing questions related to recently passed legislation and statutory presumption: https://meuserlaw.com/covid-19/
If you are a paramedic, EMT or EMS who has contracted, or suspect that you have contracted COVID-19, the attorneys at Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A. are available to discuss your rights. Call us today at 1-877-746-5680 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.