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Information for Employers

What Employers Need to Know About COVID-19 Reporting

California employers who have five or more employees are subject to reporting requirements for COVID-19 infections. If an outbreak occurs at your workplace, regulations assume employees who test positive for COIVD-19 contracted it at work.

You’re required to report to your workers’ compensation claims administrator via email or fax, when you become aware that an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The report must be made within 3 business days.

You can download the COVID-19 Positive Test Report form that includes all the reporting requirements.

An outbreak occurs if, within a 14-day calendar period, one of the following happens:

  • Employers with 100 employees or less at a specific work location and four or more employees test positive at that specific location; or
  • Employers with more than 100 employees at a specific work location and at least 4% of employees test positive at that specific location; or
  • A specific place of business is closed by local public health department, State Department of Public Health, school superintendent, a community college district chancellor, or school president, due to risk of infection with COVID-19.

A “specific work location” means the building, store, store, facility or agricultural field where the employee worked at your direction. Many workers may transition between multiple places of employment during their shift, so tracking the locations they’re required to work at is essential.

In addition, the employee must:

  • Have worked on or after 7/6/2020; and
  • Have worked outside their home or residence at the employer’s direction; or worked to provide home health care services to another individual at their home or residence; and
  • Have a positive PCR COVID-19 test or other FDA approved viral test (does not include serologic (antibody) test) within 14 days after performing the labor or services; and
  • The positive COVID-19 test must have occurred during a period of outbreak at the employee’s specific place of employment.

Claims administrators are tasked with using the reported information to calculate whether an outbreak has occurred.  So providing timely, detailed reporting is critical. 

If a workers’ compensation claim becomes accepted, an employee is required to exhaust any paid sick leave benefits specifically available in response to COVID-19 before temporary disability benefits may be paid.

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