CLEVELAND (WJW) — The I-TEAM has found some of people are already filing workers’ comp claims over the coronavirus.
People are filing with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation saying their employers put them in danger and didn’t do enough to protect them from COVID-19.
“We’ve received 18 claims on COVID-19,” said Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Administrator Stephanie McCloud.
She told us a growing number of workers are already filing claims against their workplaces hoping the state will make those businesses pay for lost wages and medical bills because of the coronavirus.
“We’re still in the investigative stage. Presumably, these claimants believe that they received this at work or they were exposed in some disproportionate way” said McCloud.
If you file a claim saying you got sick from the coronavirus and your employer is to blame, the Bureau of Workers’ Comp has to be able to find proof of that. Not easy when you can pick up the virus while out shopping or talking to your neighbor.
“But if you work in a job that poses a special hazard or risk, and you can track that to COVID-19, we encourage you to go ahead and file that claim,” said McCloud.
The agency said it quickly rejected a few claims. The others will be investigated by checking medical records and interviewing workers and bosses.
Workers have flooded the FOX 8 newsroom with emails outlining concerns about business after business they believe should be closed during the outbreak.
“The employers are putting their workers in danger because they’re not taking care of their health,” said one man.
“The concern is the spread. None of us really want to get this,” said another woman.
The Bureau of Workers’ Comp said the agency is also trying to help out businesses by extended deadlines to make payments for the next three months.