Tuesday, 13 October 2020 19:02

California COVID Presumption Law Creates New Data Tracking Burdens

Written by Jim Sams, Claims Journal


The bill’s definition of an “outbreak” is driving much of the new data-tracking requirements.


The presumption comes into play only if four employees at a worksite contract COVID-19 within a 14-day period, or 4% of employees at a worksite for employers with 100 or more workers. It doesn’t matter if the worker contracted the disease at work elsewhere, which is why employers need to keep track of every employee who tests positive and report infections to their claims administrator, Hampton said. The law applies only to employers with five or more employees.


Tracking COVID-19 infections is just the start of it. Large employers also need to know exactly how many employees worked at each of their facilities so that they divide that by the number of infections to learn the percentage of workers infected, which will determine whether a presumption applies, Hampton said.


To make it even more tricky, the law says that the largest number of workers who were present at the worksite during the previous 45 days is used to determine the percentage. If an employee who works at multiple sites is infected, that infection is counted for each of those sites, Hampton said.


In sum, the law requires claims administrators and employers to keep track of two separate rolling numbers, each with a unique timeframe: The number of infections at each work site over the past 14 days divided by the maximum number of employees at that worksite over the past 45 days.


“There’s a lot of handholding and communication required to make this work,” Hampton said.

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