April 27, 2020

Andrew Murphy Describes COVID-19 Liability for Minnesota Employers

In the article “What Twin Cities Law Firms are Advising Clients on Reopening and COVID-19 Liability,” the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal spoke with Labor & Employment partner Andrew B. Murphy about the legal ramifications for employers if their employees were to contract coronavirus at work.

Murphy told the publication that Minnesota recently changed its employment law, which now says if first responders and certain child care workers caught COVID-19 after April 8, the presumption is they caught it at work and are eligible for workers' compensation.

He added that if someone is employed outside of those two sectors and believes they caught it at work, they can file for workers' comp and maybe even file a lawsuit, but it's harder to prove since it's not presumed the employee caught it at work. Since many workers are currently working from home and not out in public, like first responders, the likelihood of catching the coronavirus from work functions is rarer.

"I'm anticipating a wave of litigation around COVID-19 once this settles down," Murphy said. "We're already seeing them."

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