When people think of workplace accidents, they may think about serious injuries. For example, people may think about the loss of a limb, a serious head injury or a broken bone, when asked to think about a situation where someone is hurt at work. While in many cases, these serious injuries do occur in New York, these are not the only time a worker is forced to leave work because the person is harmed. In some cases, occupational diseases can cause as much harm as an injury-causing accident.

Occupational diseases usually develop after years of exposure to dangerous situations. However, they aren’t the only thing that can make a worker sick. More common bugs, like the flu, can also wreak havoc on a New York employee.

Federal employees who are exposed to the flu at work may be interested to know that there are situations where workers’ compensation is available to help compensate the worker for the damage caused by the disease. Even though the flu is relatively common, if the worker was exposed during the course of the person’s job it may be covered. According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), law enforcement officers or medical workers, for example, who are made sick through direct exposure may qualify for compensation. Other situations should be examined on a case-by-case basis.

However, the DOL makes it clear that workers must have actually suffered some sort of injury; simple exposure to the virus in not enough, nor are preventative measures. Additionally, workers must have evidence of their exposure and of the injury that has caused a period of disability in order to qualify.

People who have been made sick at work should know that they may have a right to workers’ compensation, even if they work for the government. An experienced attorney may be able to help people to determine their eligibility for much needed workers’ compensation benefits.