“Frontline state employees” whose duties include fighting COVID-19 and who then become ill will be qualified to receive workers’ compensation coverage for occupational disease pursuant to Section 112.1815, Florida Statutes, and Chapter 440, Florida Statutes. Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued an April 1 directive (2020-05) to the Florida Division of Risk Management outlining the coverage.
A “frontline state employee” is defined to include the categories listed below.
- First responders, as defined in Section 112.1815, Florida Statutes, including: law enforcement officers, as defined in Section 943.10, Florida Statutes; firefighters, as defined in Section 633.102, Florida Statutes; and emergency medical technicians or paramedics.
- Corrections officers, as defined in Section 943.10, Florida Statutes, and other employees, whose official duties require physical presence in a state-operated detention facility.
- State employees working in the healthcare field, whose duties require contact with persons as they are being tested for COVID-19 or otherwise known to be infected with COVID-19.
- Child safety investigators, whose duties require them to conduct welfare checks on behalf of minors.
- Members of the Florida National Guard, who are called to active duty for service in the State of Florida in response to COVID-19.
State agencies can choose to opt-out of coverage. The directive will remain in effect until rescinded by the CFO or superseded by Executive Order of the Governor. Coverage may be denied if it is determined that the COVID-19 resulted from exposure outside of the work environment. As of April 1, the Division of Risk Management had received 36 claims for COVID-19. Click on the link to read the full news release.