Senate Bill SB1159


workers comp

Urgent Action Required Senate Bill 1159 (SB1159)

On Sept. 17, 2020, California amended its workers’ compensation (WC) law, under Senate Bill 1159 (SB1159), to provide a presumption that COVID-19 is a compensable, work-related condition under certain circumstances. 

Senate Bill 1159 (SB1159) also imposes two new reporting requirements on employers that have five or more employees in the state. These requirements aim to help claims administrators determine if an outbreak exists for purposes of administering an employee’s claim. 

The first requirement is retroactive. Specifically, if an employer is aware that an employee tested positive for COVID-19 between July 5, 2020, and Sept. 17, 2020, the employer must file a written report with its workers’ compensation claims administrator by October 292020. (The original 30-day deadline was extended)

compliance for Senate Bill 1159 (SB1159)

The second requirement is ongoing and applies any time an employer knows or reasonably should know that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 after Sept. 17, 2020. When this occurs, the employer must submit a written report to its workers’ compensation claims administrator within three business days

Covid cases must be reported regardless of the exposure occurring at work or elsewhere. All Covid cases must be reported to your worker’s compensation carrier.

Below, we have listed the reporting process and forms for all carriers at Milestone that have created a process and/or form to report these claims. Note, if your carrier is not listed, below, we recommend using another carriers form to fill out and send it to the carrier. (Hanover and One Beacon are examples)

Action Items

  1. If you have had an employee contract Covid since July 5, 2020, click on your carrier below and report the claim as soon as possible (deadline October 29).
  2. If not, find your carrier below to keep the link as a resource in case an employee contracts Covid in the future.
  3. Download our HR Compliance Bulletin to learn more about California’s new law.

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