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Sedgwick, has added a solution to its technology suite of services that streamlines the submission process for California employers who are required under new legislation to report and determine COVID-19 workplace outbreaks.

On Sept. 17, 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law CA SB 1159, which expands workers’ compensation injury claims to include illness or death from COVID-19 within specific dates of infection. The law also establishes a rebuttable presumption of injury within certain limitations, shortens the period to accept or deny claims to either 30 or 45 days from the filing, and requires exhaustion of COVID-related paid sick leave prior to compensation.  SB1159 requires employers to calculate outbreaks using specific criteria and report all positive tests to their administrator.

This action codified Newsom’s executive order from March 19, 2020, and expanded rebuttable presumptions to more professions and employees if and when an “outbreak” is determined for injuries from July 6, 2020, through Jan. 1, 2023. The law took effect immediately and includes added responsibility for employers and administrators.

Employers are now required to report to their claims administrator within 30 business days of the effective date of CA SB 1159 when and how many employees in California tested positive for COVID-19 between July 6 and Sept. 17, 2020. From Sept. 18 onward, employers must report positive tests within three business days, as well as the largest number of employees who have worked at the infected location in the 45 days preceding the last day the positive employee was in the place of employment.

To ease the process for California employers, Sedgwick has launched a COVID-19 intake portal for reporting positive test results. Sedgwick’s award-winning global intake platform provides an innovative, easy-to-use and secure cloud-based system to initiate the process of recording positive tests and exposure events tied to COVID-19 in the workplace.

“With any new legislation, Sedgwick’s objective is to provide an appropriate, effective and efficient means to help our clients meet their compliance requirements,” said Max Koonce, Sedgwick’s chief claims officer. “Our global intake platform simplifies the COVID-19 reporting process for California employers so they can follow the state’s guidelines, protect their employees and customers, and keep their workplaces operating safely during the pandemic.”

“Sedgwick’s quick response with this advanced intake and reporting solution will help clients easily report information under CA SB 1159, giving them more time to focus on their day-to-day operations,” said Leah Cooper, Sedgwick managing director of global consumer technology.