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- Oppose Cumbersome Workers Compensation Liabilities for Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Santa Clarita Valley business community strongly opposes SB 1159, which would create cumbersome liabilities for employers by requiring that any employee testing positive for COVID-19 be paid workers' compensation until 2024, even if there is no proof that the infection happened at work.
SB 1159 would create a presumption that any employee testing positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of working at their place of employment is eligible for workers compensation. This places the burden of proof squarely on the employer.
Employers have taken precautionary steps and followed guidelines to ensure the health and safety of their employees, while at the same time trying to keep their businesses afloat. The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau estimated that the Governor's executive order, which temporarily created a rebuttable presumption similar to the one in AB 1159, cost $600 million to $2 billion within the short period of four months.
The SCV Chamber is concerned that SB 1159 would be detrimental for many employers who are struggling to keep their businesses alive in the face of this public health and economic crisis.