To follow up on my last post here’s a list of things you should do if you are returning to work or think you may be returning to work:
- If you think returning to work puts you at a specific risk, see your doctor ASAP and document it in writing. If the doctor thinks you should not return he or she needs to document that in writing and the reasons for the opinion;
- If you haven’t been tested for COVID-19 consider getting tested. If you are infected at work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. To qualify you have to prove you were infected at work. If you can document that you did not have COVID-19 before you returned to work through a previous test, then that is at least some evidence to support a workers’compensation claim.
- If you believe you have been infected by COVID-19 at work, please contact me ASAP or another workers’ compensation lawyer. If you wait too long to report the exposure, it could limit your benefits or even prevent you from pursuing workers’ compensation benefits.
- Confirm with your employer what steps will be taken to protect you and your co-workers.
- Confirm with your employer if it will be providing your safety equipment (masks, safety glasses, etc). If not do you have to pay for your own or will the employer reimburse you.
- If you think that the safety precautions are inadequate, consider contacting Workforce Solutions and the New Mexico Department of Health. I don’t know if they will accept anonymous complaints.
Obviously, we are all in uncharted waters. I know most employers will try to do the right thing. However, you need to be your own advocate to protect yourself and your family.