COVID-19 Workers' Comp Presumption bill

Empire State Forest Products Association

In the 2020-21 Budget process this year we heard of workers compensation proposals to include CODIV-19 as eligible for claims.  We now have a proposed amendment to the Workers Compensation Law that would do just that.  S.8266 (Ramos)/A.10401 (Simotas) would amend New York State’s Workers’ Compensation Law to create an occupational disease presumption for employees that have contracted COVID-19.

ESFPA has signed onto a group letter opposing this legislation from Chambers and Trade Associations, and we are now asking you to notify your elected State representatives and the sponsors of this legislation of your objection to this legislation and what it means to your business specifically. 

The provision would push COVID-19 cases into workers’ compensation coverage for both essential and non-essential workers.   This will dangerously add to the burden for our already stressed workers compensation program.

The cost of this proposal on the comp system (and, ultimately on employers’ premiums), is incalculable and it would likely bankrupt the State Insurance Fund, the state operated “carrier of last resort”, as well as some commercial carriers. In our case, the New York Lumberman’s Trust would also experience deleterious impacts affecting most of our members. It is impossible to say with any precision what impact this would have on employer premiums, but the impact would be massive.

We urge you to reach out to Senate and Assembly representatives and sponsors of this legislation to express your strongest opposition to this proposal.  Please sign on to the campaign and if you could add a few sentences regarding your business and impact this would have on you specifically that would be very effective.