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Employer liability for long COVID-19

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2023 | Blog, Injuries

Long COVID-19 is a condition in which individuals experience lingering symptoms even after recovering from the acute phase of the illness that the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, at least 6.9% of adults have experienced long COVID-19.

In most cases, falling ill due to COVID-19 is no one’s fault. However, employer negligence may sometimes contribute to an employee’s prolonged suffering.

Inadequate workplace safety measures

Employers bear the responsibility of ensuring a safe working environment for their employees. This responsibility involves implementing and enforcing robust safety measures to mitigate the risk of viral transmission. Failure to do so can result in employees contracting COVID-19.

Insufficient remote work options

Shifting to remote work is one strategy to curb the spread of the virus. However, some employers have been slow to adopt comprehensive remote work policies. When employees cannot work from home, they must work in conditions that increase their exposure to the virus, leading to long-term health consequences.

Inadequate sick leave policies

Returning to work while still experiencing COVID-19 symptoms endangers the health of the individual and poses a risk to the entire workplace. Employers must support employees with adequate sick leave provisions, allowing them the time needed for a full recovery and preventing the development of lingering health issues.

Failure to accommodate vulnerable employees

Individuals with the following existing conditions are more susceptible to severe outcomes from COVID-19:

Heart disease

Lung problems




Employers must take proactive measures to accommodate and protect vulnerable employees. Failure to do so may lead to prolonged illness and the development of long COVID-19, exacerbating the challenges faced by already at-risk individuals.

Employees who believe their employer’s policies caused them to contract long COVID-19 may be eligible for compensation.