As part of what continues to be a fluid response to the evolving dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday signed two Executive Orders making immediate changes to state regulations governing workers' compensation and property taxes.

Workers' Compensation
All essential employees who must work outside their homes will have the right to pursue workers' compensation benefits should they contract COVID-19.

Key points of the Executive Order include the following:

  • Workers must meet these four requirements to access benefits: 1) An employee must be diagnosed within 14 days of working at their workplace; 2) A COVID-19 diagnosis must have been validated on or after March 19, 2020; 3) The employee’s workplace cannot be their home; and 4) A licensed California physician must have completed the diagnosis with testing confirmed within 30 days.
  • Employers or insurance carriers have a 30 day window to dispute a claim, rather than the typical 90 day dispute period.
  • The burden to provide proof of non-workplace exposure/infection falls on employers.
  • This will apply to injuries that take place through July 5, 2020.

In a press release issued by the Governor's Office, Newsom remarked, “We are removing a burden for workers on the front lines, who risk their own health and safety to deliver critical services to our fellow Californians, so that they can access benefits, and be able to focus on their recovery. Workers’ compensation is a critical piece to reopening the state and it will help workers get the care they need to get healthy, and in turn, protect public health.”

The Executive Order can be viewed in its entirety here .

Property Taxes
Governor Newsom also signed an Executive Order suspending penalties for Californians who could not make their payments by the April 10 deadline as a result of financial difficulties caused by the pandemic. Penalties will be waived through May 6, 2021. That Executive Order can be read here .

According to Newsom, " The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives and livelihoods of many, and as we look toward opening our local communities and economies, we want to make sure that those that have been most impacted have the ability to get back on their feet."

Stay Up to Date
Members are encouraged to regularly check the State of California's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response web page for the most current information on the state government's efforts. Additionally, members can also stay informed by visiting the Calforests COVID-19 Resources page .

Questions regarding the Governor's Executive Orders should be directed to Calforests President and CEO, Rich Gordon .