Governor Asa Hutchinson issued executive orders Monday that clarify Workers Compensation Law during the public-health emergency, protect health care providers from liability, and exempt businesses from liability related to the spread of COVID-19.

“I want to thank the General Assembly for its leadership in securing support for limited immunity legislation and for requesting action by the executive order versus calling a special session during the pandemic.” Governor Hutchinson said. "I also want to thank Steuart Walton and the Economic Recovery Task Force for their work on these important issues."

Executive Order 20-33 regarding employers and businesses orders that:

  • All businesses and their employees shall be immune from civil liability as a result of exposure to COVID-19.
  • Immunity does not apply to willful, reckless or intentional misconduct.
  • A presumption that the actions are not willful or reckless if the business owner substantially complies with public health directives.
  • Immunity does not extend to worker compensation benefits.
  • Immunity is effective from today until the emergency is terminated.

Executive Order 20-34 regarding immunity for health care providers orders that:

  • Health care workers and providers are authorized to use crisis standards of care to respond to treat               COVID-19 patients.
  • The health care providers as emergency workers are immune from civil liability.
  • Immunity does not extend to willful, reckless, or intentional misconduct.
  • Immunity is effective from today until the emergency is terminated.

Executive Order 20-35 regarding workers compensation coverage orders that:

  • Assures workers compensation coverage for employees.
  • COVID-19 is considered an occupational disease under the law.
  • COVID-19 shall be an exception to prohibition on compensation for ordinary diseases of life.
  • There must be a causal connection between employment and the disease.
  • Extends during the public health emergency.

Executive Order 20-33 can be viewed here.

Executive Order 20-34 can be viewed here.

Executive Order 20-35 can be viewed here.


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