February 7, 2022
Resumption of the presumption: Minnesota's COVID-19 presumption law
On February 3, 2022 Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill into law that reinstated and extended the rebuttable COVID-19 presumption under Minnesota's occupational disease statute. Minnesota Statutes Section 176.011, subd. 15(f), reinstated what has become known as the COVID-19 presumption law, creating a rebuttable presumption for certain first responders, corrections workers and COVID-19 healthcare workers who contract COVID-19.
The new presumption signed into law on February 3, 2022 is not retroactive, which means any first responders, corrections workers and COVID-19 healthcare workers who contracted COVID-19 after December 31, 2021 (the date the previous presumption sunsetted) through February 3, 2022 were not covered under the presumption. However, they were still potentially covered under other existing occupational disease or injury provisions of Minnesota's Workers' Compensation Act.
When not covered by the presumption, workers in Minnesota who believe their COVID-19 infection is a direct result of their employment are able to file a claim to pursue compensation under the existing occupational disease and personal injury provisions.
In summary, the reinstatement and extension of Minnesota's COVID-19 workers’ compensation presumption law provides:
- A defined list of occupations covered by the presumption of COVID-19 as an occupational disease: firefighter; paramedic; nurse or health care worker, correctional officer, or security counselor employed by the state or a political subdivision at a corrections, detention, or secure treatment facility; emergency medical technician; a health care provider, nurse, or assistive employee employed in a health care, home care, or long-term care setting, with direct COVID-19 patient care or ancillary work in COVID-19 patient units.
- Those on the list of covered workers can show they contracted COVID-19 by a positive laboratory test or, if a test is not available for the employee, by diagnosis and documentation from a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN);
- The presumption is rebuttable by the employer and insurer only by a showing that the employment was not a direct cause of the disease;
- The date of injury for this presumptive COVID-19 is either the date the employee was unable to work due to the diagnosis, or due to symptoms that were later diagnosed as COVID-19, whichever occurred first;
- If an employee who has contracted COVID-19 does not fall under the new presumption, they still have the right to file a claim under the existing occupational disease and personal injury provisions of the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act.
This COVID-19 presumption legislation is effective for employees who contract COVID-19 on or after the day following enactment (April 8, 2020) through December 31, 2021, and once again is effective the day following enactment (February 3, 2022) through January 13, 2023.
For more information on the law, see the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's Frequently Asked Questions document .
This is not intended to serve as legal advice for individual fact-specific legal cases or as a legal basis for your employment practices.