COVID-19 Presumption for Essential Workers
With many workers still holding the fort in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and risking exposure to the disease on a daily basis, labor groups and CAAA are working to ensure they’re protected should they contract the coronavirus as a result of their working conditions.

On March 19, the California Labor Federation sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom with concerns for worker safety and included a call for a workers’ compensation presumption that a COVID-19 exposure or positive test is employment-related for essential workers.

“Workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic put their lives at risk just doing their jobs. If they are infected with COVID-19, they should be covered by workers’ compensation,” the letter stated.

Subsequently, the United Food and Commercial Workers and other labor groups reached out to CAAA to help in drafting language for a possible executive order to be issued by the governor.

The approach is to enact a conclusive presumption rather than rebuttable presumption to cut through litigation and red tape for ALL of the workers that continue to work during this crisis and are therefore exposed to COVID-19 on a daily basis.

The presumption would cover employees deemed essential by Governor Newsom’s March 19 executive order and any employees deemed essential thereafter, as well as disaster service workers.

Full hospital, surgical, medical treatment, disability indemnity and death benefits would be covered in the event that a worker contracts COVID-19 while on the job.

The coalition of labor groups is hoping the governor will have the power to issue the executive order once the language is in his hands. Should he not have the power to do so, the coalition will draft the presumption as a statute.
Free Member Webinar
COVID-19 has forced us to adapt in many ways, including the need to embrace technology in order to keep our offices running as we shelter-in-place. Watch our free webinar, exclusive to CAAA members, for tips and tricks on everything from using the latest online meeting software to using EAMS for e-filing and steps on how to create an electronic signature. The webinar is on-demand, so you can watch it at any time.
Presented by:
Benjamin Helfman, Esq.
Laura Rosenthal, Esq.
Chris Viadro, Esq.
Our speakers discuss their experiences with working remotely and cover current challenges and benefits of working from home. Each speaker will go through some suggestions on how to help run your practice smoothly during these challenging times while providing you with helpful tips that will continue to benefit your practice beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

Not a member yet? Join here .
DWC Issues Emergency Measures for Medical-Legal Evaluations During Shelter-In-Place Order
To comply with Governor Newsom's stay-at-home order in response to COVID-19, the DWC announced on Saturday they are encouraging the use of telehealth options to manage injured worker care whenever medically appropriate. Specific options such as video conferencing and video calling were mentioned in the announcement citing the need for the treating physician and patient to be able to see each other.

"DWC strongly recommends that all of the following conditions apply to a telehealth evaluation to promote the health and safety of all parties: 
1. The injured worker is able to participate in the telehealth evaluation without violating the stay-at-home order.
2. The medical issue in dispute is determined to be essential to an injured worker’s benefits and must be addressed no later than May 1, 2020. The dispute must involve:
  • a. An evaluation relating to whether or not the injury is Arising Out of Employment/Course of Employment (AOE/COE), 
  • b. Termination of an injured worker’s indemnity benefit payments, or
  • c. Work restrictions  
3. There is written agreement of the injured worker, carrier or employer, and the QME.
4. The telehealth evaluation is consistent with appropriate medical practices and ethical considerations. 
5. The QME attests that the evaluation of the injured worker can be done effectively and safely by way of a telehealth evaluation and does not require an in-person physical examination."

The DWC also encouraged parties to evaluate whether medical-legal evaluations should be postponed or cancelled entirely while the shelter-in-place order is in effect.

To view the announcement in full, click here .
DWC Adopts COVID-19 Codes, Posts Adjustment to Official Medical Fee Schedule
The DWC announced on Friday they have posted an order adjusting the pathology and clinical laboratory section of the Official Medical Fee Schedule which adopts COVID-19 testing codes (HCPCS U0001 and U0002) and related fees.

The order was posted to conform to changes in the Medicare payment system and adopts the Medicare clinical laboratory update for the second quarter of 2020, effective for services rendered on or after April 1, 2020.

To view the order, click here .

To view the DWC Newsline announcing the change, click here .
COVID-19 Information for Employers and Employees
The California Labor & Workforce Development Agency has released updated information and resources for workers and employers impacted by  COVID-19 . Visit their website for more information:

In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor has released updated information to help with recent nationally enacted legislation, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. For more information, visit their website here: d/pandemic

Links to helpful fact sheets:

Reminder: Update from DWC on IMR Applications
CAAA Executive Director Diane Worley received the following message from D WC Administrative Director George Parisotto with regard to IMR applications:
DWC will not find a ny IMR application ineligible that was submitted late due to the current COVID-19 crisis and the “shelter in place” orders issued by state and local authorities. Also, after conferring with Maximus, for the extent of the current crisis, IMR applications can be submitted by attorneys using the Maximus MOVE-it system for submitting records online. Attorneys who have not yet registered with Maximus to use the system should do so, understanding that there could be some delays based on the volume of those attempting to sign up. 
Visit for the latest updates from CAAA.
Chapter Meetings Postponed
All chapter meetings and in-person events have been postponed through the month of April.

We will be sure to notify you as soon as new dates have been set.
2020 National Long-Sleeve Shirt Drive
Unfortunately, with our office being closed and no one there to collect shirts or accept packages, we can no longer participate in the National Long-Sleeve Shirt Drive this year.

However, the organizers are still operating the drive and have extended the deadline to April 3. If you still wish to participate, please visit the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs website to find an alternative collection point where you can send or deliver shirts.

Thank you for understanding, and we hope to be able to participate again next year.
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