Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation COVID-19 Presumption

Wisconsin Governor Evers signed a coronavirus relief bill on April 15, 2020 with new language for first responders who contract COVID-19.

Under the statute, the term “first responder” means an employee of or a volunteer for an employer that providers fire fighting, law enforcement, or medical treatment of COVID-19, and who has regular, direct contact with, or is regularly in close proximity to, patients or other members of the public requiring emergency services, within the scope of the individual’s work for the employer.

Where an injury to a first responder is found to be caused by COVID-19 during the public health emergency declared by the governor on March 12, 2020, or ending 30 days after termination of the order, and where the employee has been exposed to persons with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the course of employment, the injury is presumed to be caused by the individual’s employment.

The injury claimed must be accompanied by a specific diagnosis by a physician or by a positive COVID-19 test. An injury claimed under this section may be rebutted by specific evidence that the injury was caused by exposure to COVID-19 outside of the first responder’s work for the employer.

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