As the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow and cause havoc across the nation and the world, many people are left wondering how they may protect themselves and their families. This need for protection may well extend beyond preventing the contraction of COVID-19 and include receiving benefits to compensate them if they should be exposed to coronavirus or become ill from that exposure if such exposure happens while they are at work.

The current workers’ compensation laws in California offer some ability for employees to apply for and receive benefits if they become ill with a communicable disease due to their employment. Insurance Journal cites how one major theme park employee successfully received workers’ compensation benefits after getting the measles due to exposure to infected visitors while at work in the park.

With the coronavirus pandemic still relatively new, not every state has figured out its approach to handling potential workers’ compensation claims related to the virus. Washington State took a bold step recently when it announced that medical professionals and first responders who had to be quarantined after being exposed while at work may qualify for wage replacement workers’ compensation benefits. Oregon announced that worker’s compensation claims related to coronavirus would be assessed individually at this time.

Texas, Kentucky and a handful of other states have started to publish their stance on the matter, but there appears to be a long way to go for most states, including California. During this time, it is important for all employees still actively working in California to know they have the right to be properly protected.