Gov. Newsom Signs SB1159 Into Law, Creating COVID-19 Presumption for Workers’ Compensation

Governor Newsom has now signed SB1159 into law, as anticipated, creating a rebuttable presumption of compensability for certain COVID-19 cases. An urgency measure, the law goes into effect immediately. As we have previously written, the bill codifies Gov. Newsom’s previous executive order, which created a workers’ compensation presumption up to July 5, 2020.  Thereafter if an “outbreak” of COVID-19 takes place, there would be a general rebuttable presumption in effect for those working outside of the home.  This also provides a rebuttal presumption for public safety and health care workers. The final bill includes a sunset date of January 1, 2023, and exempts employers with fewer than five employees.

SRTK will continue to monitor this development and provide updates as available. Please contact us with any questions about what this may mean for you.