If you are a shipyard worker in California you are covered by a California State law presumption that the COVID-19 you contracted was from work. There are certain legal criteria to be met before the California presumption is effective. The presumption is rebuttable and the employer can present evidence indicating the COVID-19 contracted was from other sources than work.
Under Longshore federal law, there is also a presumption your injury consisting of a COVID-19 infection is from work. It is not specific to COVID-19 as it applies to all potential injuries in a shipyard, however. This presumption may also be rebutted by the employer presenting evidence indicating the COVID-19 contracted was from other sources than work.
Pending legislation may provide COVID-19 presumption for shipyard workers
There is currently a bill pending in the U.S. Congress to make a specific COVID-19 presumption under Longshore federal law for shipyard workers. This would affect shipyard workers throughout the nation and would presume that employees' COVID-19 infections were contracted at work. In its current language, the presumption is conclusive. This means the employer cannot rebut it by presenting evidence indicating the COVID-19 contracted was from sources other than work. Our law office will keep track of this legislation.
Symptoms of 'long COVID'
The long-term effects of COVID-19 are becoming more well known as this disease continues to spread, these effects are sometimes referred to as ‘long COVID.’ Individuals with 'long COVID' are those still suffering from the effects of COVID-19 roughly 4-6 months after the initial diagnosis of the condition. Many of these individuals didn't have extreme symptoms when they first were diagnosed with COVID-19. In fact, some of these individuals had mild or no symptoms at all when initially diagnosed.
The typical symptoms are
- Memory issues
- Brain fog
- Breathing issues
- Chills and sweats
- Body aches
- Heart issues
- Gastrointestinal issues
Anecdotally, some people have reported feeling better for days or weeks before relapsing with old or new symptoms. Here is a link to a JAMA article discussing ‘long COVID.’
If you believe you have contracted COVID-19 at a shipyard, you should file a claim to ensure you will have adequate medical care. The attorneys at McLaughlin & Sanchez are experienced in both longshore workers' compensation laws and state workers' compensation laws. We can help you in pursuing your claim.
About McLaughlin & Sanchez
With more than 30 years of combined experience, McLaughlin & Sanchez, APC has built a solid reputation for helping injured workers in the San Diego area. Our award-winning attorneys will work with you every step of the way to help you get the medical care and compensation you need. You can reach us by telephone, email or instant chat on our web page. Contact us online or call us to set up your free and confidential case review.