MN First Responder Covid-19 Work Comp Presumption

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The State of Minnesota needs to immediately enact a work comp presumption that protects First Responders who contract COVID-19.

The Minnesota Legislature's recent legislation failed to include provisions that would protect firefighters, police officers, paramedics, nurses, corrections officers, and other healthcare workers who develop COVID-19. As such, we call on Gov. Tim Walz to issue an executive order protecting these men and women who will almost certainly contract coronavirus.

Without a presumption, these First Responders are NOT as protected under the Minnesota Work Comp Act. Without a legal presumption, employers and insurers are more likely to deny these men and women benefits. These benefits are vital to the First Responders and their families, and include medical treatment and wage loss benefits. They need to know if, and when they fall ill, they will be covered. Fighting the work comp system takes months. First Responders need coverage now.

Work Comp legal presumptions already exist for cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and heart attacks. We ask that this Coronavirus Presumption applies to our Minnesota workers in the front line of this pandemic: firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, paramedics, nurses, and other healthcare workers. If a First Responder develops COVID-19, it must be assumed that he or she developed this disease in the line of duty. This presumption must shift the legal burden of proof to the employers and insurers.

They protect us, it's our turn to protect them.