State News : Minnesota

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NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.  


Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.


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Minnesota

COUSINEAU, WALDHAUSER & KIESELBACH, P.A.

  651-393-5861

On Thursday, February 3, 2022, Governor Walz signed a bill into law that extended the workers’ compensation presumption for certain frontline professions through 2022. The prior law addressing this presumption expired on December 31, 2021. As of now, the new law is not retroactive to January 2022, but there may be legislation that addresses this question later this year.

This law extends the presumption that has been in place for much of the pandemic. By way of reminder, this presumption indicates that employees working in first responder or healthcare occupations will be presumed eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they either test positive for COVID-19 or are diagnosed by a licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or APRN without a test. In situations where a test has not been done, a copy of written documentation of the diagnosis shall be provided to the Employer and Insurer. The following occupations fall into this presumption:

  • Firefighter

  • Paramedic

  • Nurses or Healthcare Workers

  • Correctional Officer/Security Counselor at Minnesota Correctional Facilities

  • Emergency Medical Technician

  • Healthcare provider, nurse, or assistant employed with home care or long-term setting

  • Workers required to provide childcare to first responders and health care workers under certain Executive Orders

In summary, if an employee shows that he or she works within one of these occupations and either tests positive for or is diagnosed with COVID-19, the burden of proof will shift to the Employer and Insurer to rebut the presumption. Employers and Insurers will still be able to show that the employment was not a direct cause of the disease, but it will be much more difficult to prevail on a denial of liability when one of these types of employees contract COVID-19. To note, the date of injury in these situations shall be the date the employee is no longer able to work due to a diagnosis of COVID-19 or due to the symptoms later diagnosed as COVID-19, whichever occurs first.

This Legislative Update was prepared by Parker Olson.