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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL)

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House Passes First Workers' Comp Bill

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Dear Community,

I hope all of you are staying well and finding ways to experience joy in these difficult times. We are working hard at the Legislature to make sure that all Minnesotans can make it through this crisis. Remember to do your duty and stay at home as much as possible.

Legislature Passes Workers Compensation Bill

We gathered remotely on Tuesday to pass critical legislation to ensure that healthcare workers, first responders, and home health aides are eligible for workers' compensation in the unfortunate event that they contract COVID-19 while serving Minnesotans during this public health crisis. In particular, the legislation provides a presumption that if these workers contract COVID-19, they did so during the course of their employment and are covered by workers’ compensation.

Which First Responders are Covered by the Bill?

Here is a list of the following occupations that are covered by the presumption in the bill:

  • Firefighter,
  • Peace officer,
  • Paramedic,
  • Emergency medical technician (EMT),
  • Health care provider, nurse or assistive employee in a health care, home care or long-term care setting who works with COVID-19 patients,
  • Nurse, health care worker, correctional officer or security counselor at a correctional facility, and
  • Child care providers who are required to provide child care for the children of first responders and health care workers under the Governor’s executive orders.

What Must First Responders Show for the Presumption to Apply?

Under the bill, workers in the occupations listed above are presumed to be eligible for workers comp if they can show a positive laboratory test for COVID-19, which includes a written copy of the test. If a laboratory test was not available for a particular worker, they could provide a written diagnosis for COVID-19 based on the worker’s symptoms from a licensed physician, licensed physician’s assistant or licensed advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). 

Can the Insurance Company or Employer Rebut the Presumption?

Yes, the bill provides that an insurance company or self-insured employer can defeat the presumption by showing (by a preponderance of the evidence) that the worker’s employment was not a direct cause of the worker contracting coronavirus. Presumably, this could be done by showing that the worker was never exposed to someone with COVID-19, or that the worker likely contracted the virus from their spouse. If the insurer or employer is unable to rebut the presumption, the worker is eligible for workers comp benefits.

Other parts to the bill

The bill contains a few other provisions that should be noted. First, it establishes that the date of injury is the date when the worker was first unable to work because of COVID-19 or its symptoms. Importantly, the bill is not retroactive, but applies to workers who contract COVID-19 on or after the day following enactment (Apr. 8). The main provisions in the bill sunset on May 1, 2021. The bill  also provides that if a worker is not entitled to the presumption in this bill, they can still seek workers comp benefits for COVID-19 under existing law. 

Join Me for Virtual Town Hall

While we should all be practicing social distancing, I think it is important that we have the chance to connect and talk about the work my colleagues and I are doing to help Minnesota get through this pandemic. That’s why I will be hosting a virtual town hall tomorrow, Thursday April 9th at 1:00 PM.

I will be joined by my fellow district 62 Legislators, Rep. Gomez, and Sen. Hayden. We will host the town hall on my facebook page. If you have any questions you would like to ask us, I encourage you to email me at


Keep in touch

If you have friends, neighbors, or co-workers who might be interested in subscribing to this newsletter, they can do so here, and follow me on Facebook here. I’m grateful for the honor of serving you and our community. Please, now more than ever feel free to reach out to my office.

Rep. Hodan Hassan,
531 State Office Building
(651) 296-0294