SB 1159: California COVID-19 Workers Compensation Presumption Law

On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 1159, which establishes a rebuttable presumption that illness or death resulting from COVID-19 is compensable for front-line workers and employees who contract COVID-19 due to a workplace outbreak. The law also imposes strict notification requirements of all positive COVID-19 cases on a retroactive and ongoing basis to your workers compensation insurance company.

We encourage all California employers to review the full bill in detail and immediately implement the necessary changes to comply.

In addition, we have developed the following materials for your reference, including a compilation of insurance carrier specific guidance and tools.


Workers' Compensation
Carrier Resources

Find and access your carrier-specific websites, forms,
and resources. This document will be regularly updated
as information is made available. If your carrier is not
listed, please reach out to our office.


SB 1159 notification requirements are separate and in addition to an employer's obligation to provide workers' compensation benefits to their employees. This bill sets forth criteria for a presumption of compensability. Regardless of whether your employee falls into one of the categories outlined within the bill, if they allege a COVID-19 positive test is work related, you must provide them with a DWC-1 Claim Form and immediately report the claim to your workers compensation insurance company. If you have a work related COVID-19 case, please proceed with filing a claim via your standard method of reporting claims in addition to submittimg SB 1159 notification. Claims reporting information can be found within your workers compensation policy document or claims kit. 

If you are in need of additional assistance, please give our office a call or email us via the link below to discuss your questions with our Workers' Compensation specialist, Mary Jean Collins.

Request for SB 1159 Assistance