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What Covid-19 Laid Bare: Adventures In Workers’ Compensation Causation, Michael C. Duff Jan 2022

What Covid-19 Laid Bare: Adventures In Workers’ Compensation Causation, Michael C. Duff

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This essay performs a close analysis of workers’ compensation coverage of COVID-19 and arrives at the conclusion that it should not be “impossible” to prove in a legal sense that an employee’s COVID-19 was caused by work. Scientific proof is not the same as legal proof: workers’ compensation law has never required that claims must be supported by irrefutable scientific proof of workplace causation. Yet repeatedly one heard this suggestion during public discussion on workers’ compensation coverage of employees.

Still, there is good evidence that even when workers’ compensation undisputedly covers work-related disease employers seldom pay benefits (and states do …