Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order on May 6, 2020 creating a rebuttable presumption that COVID-19 is a compensable industrially-related disease. Key features of the Order include:

a) Applies retroactively from March 19, 2020 when the stay-at-home order issued for non-essential workers, through July 5, 2020 when the Order expires.

b) Presumption occurs if an employee tests positive or is diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of their last day of work at the place of employment at the employer's direction. The Order does not apply to home-based workers.

c) Any available paid sick time must be used before entitlement to temporary disability benefits. There is no "waiting period" for TD benefits.

Concurrent with this order, there are several newly introduced legislative bills (AB 196, AB 664, and SB 1159) that are proposing presumptions specifically for first responders, health care workers, and public employees that could take effect after the Executive Order has expired.

[COMMENT: Too early to assess the degree of impact this Order will have beyond the existing statutes. The WCIRB has estimated any COVID-19 presumption could have an impact anywhere from $2.2 billion to $33.6 billion.]