The filing for workers’ compensation will likely increase to include claims for COVID-19 related as we head into 2021.
While standard workers’ compensation laws do cover “occupational diseases” that arise out of employment, many states exclude “ordinary diseases of life” (the common cold or flu). And this is where the law can be a little tricky. Workers’ advocacy groups and workers’ compensation lawyers can argue that the risk of contracting COVID-19 at work is higher for certain industries and could constitute a special case. 
There are no legal precedents set right now, which means as this pandemic unfolds, laws will be written to decide the best course of action regarding COVID-19 related workers’ comp claims. A legal precedent is established when a decision or a series of decisions are used to set a standard that all other cases will have to follow. 
Though there are now hundreds of COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuits filed across the country, each state is handling these cases differently. Some states will make it harder to sue for COVID-19 workers’ compensation.
The case of Gutierrez vs. Publix Supermarkets in Miami Beach might set the legal precedent for all COVID-19 related workers’ comp claims in the state of Florida and maybe even much of the country.
In order to prepare for the likely influx of COVID-19 related workers’ comp claims, some states are increasing insurance premiums as soon as January 2021. In California, business owners can expect to see their premiums raised significantly for the first time in many years. 
In Florida, the number of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims continues to drop from a high of 8,000 in July 2020 to just over 1,000 in November 2020. 
There are also talks of an additional COVID-19 surcharge being applied to all workers’ compensation insurance moving forward, though nothing has been decided as of this posting.