Governor Walz Signs Bill Extending Protections for First Responders, Frontline Workers
On April 28, 2021 by Kari Thurlow
Governor Tim Walz has signed Chapter 12, HF 2253, into law, extending presumptive workers’ compensation eligibility for emergency first responders and front-line workers.
HF 2253 adopted the recommendations made to the legislature by the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, which includes the extension of the presumption that a COVID-19 infection is work-related unless the employer is able to prove that infection happened elsewhere and new penalty provisions for improper collection of payment for medical services from an employee.
That presumption was scheduled to sunset on May 1, but now it will not expire until Dec. 31, 2021. The presumption originally passed in April 2020. According to the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, 86% of claims submitted by eligible employees under the law have been approved and that the cost has been significantly less than projected. Minnesota is one of about 15 states with a COVID-19 workers' compensation presumption for first responders and health care workers.