August 6, 2020

Connecticut Enacts Major COVID-19 Presumption

In late July, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Executive Order 7JJJ, which grants workers’ comp coverage to various employees who presumably contracted COVID-19 on the job.

The order applies to workers who missed a day or more of work between March 10, 2020 and May 20, 2020 due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, assuming the employee did not receive an offer to work from home, and that they have been deemed essential by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), pursuant to Executive Order 7H.

Executive Order 7H, passed back on March 20th, applied to, but was not limited to, sixteen critical infrastructure sectors recognized as essential as defined by the Department of Homeland Security. Each of these sectors covers a wide range of industries and occupations.

The 16 sectors include:

  • Chemical sector
  • Commercial facilities sector – which includes entertainment and media, gaming (casinos), lodging, outdoor events, public assembly, real estate, retail and sports leagues
  • Communications sector
  • Critical manufacturing sector
  • Dams sector
  • Defense industrial base sector
  • Emergency services sector – which includes first responders
  • Energy sector
  • Financial services sector
  • Food and agriculture sector
  • Government facilities sector
  • Healthcare and public health sector
  • Information technology sector
  • Nuclear reactors, materials, and waste sector
  • Transportation systems sector
  • Water and wastewater systems sector

However, Executive Order 7H also specifically mentions occupations not listed in the Department of Homeland Security’s essential sectors, including grocery stores and big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries, as well as gas stations and convenience stores, food and beverage retailers (including liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees) and restaurants.

Furthermore, the DECD may deem any other business essential should it determine that it is in the best interest of the state to have the workforce continue at full capacity to properly respond to the pandemic.

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