Is it possible in the US to get Worker's Compensation for catching a cold at the office?

Is it possible (at least in theory) in the US to get Worker’s Compensation for catching a cold (viral infection) at the office, or involuntarily catching a similar infectious disease at the workplace?

It would seem to me that in theory this might be so, but proving the source of the illness would be a serious barrier - you might have to get a DNA analysis of the virus, do an antibody study of everyone in the office and do some statistical conjecture about how the virus has traveled interpersonally, etc., and the employer could then claim that the person claiming to have caught the virus actually caught it in a subway car on the way to the office and then spread it around, so NO SOUP FOR YOU.

There is no US Workers Compensation system; it’s state-by state. In California, WC is available for time lost from work due to accident, injury, or occupational disease. Occupational disease is defined as “a disease which is due to causes and conditions which are characteristic of and peculiar to a particular trade, occupation, process or employment, and to exclude all diseases of life to which the public is exposed, unless the incidence of the disease are substantially higher in a particular trade, occupation, process or employment than for the general public.”

So, no cold or flu payments. Check out http://www.workerscompensation.com/workers_comp_by_state.php for informtion on all 50 states.

I’ve seen some wacky shit pass for a “work-related” injury, but that would take the cake.

Most states have a waiting period, it can be from 3 to 7 days, before one can collect worker’s comp payments. This should be long enough to get well enough to return to work.