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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 24, 2020 10:05 AM
From: Representative Jennifer O'Mara and Rep. Pam Snyder
To: All House members
Subject: COVID-19 Presumed Disease for Essential Employees under Workers Compensation
Nurses, doctors, EMS, police, firefighters, pharmacists, grocery store employees and so many others are on the frontlines responding to coronavirus right now. They are keeping our health facilities operating, transporting our vulnerable family members and neighbors to get care, and making sure emergency services are still ready for any tragedy that strikes. These people are ‘essential employees’ in every sense of the word as they are protecting our well-being.

Odds are that these everyday heroes will come in personal contact with COVID-19. Workers compensation is currently available to them if they get coronavirus; however, they’re still required to prove that COVID-19 is occurring more in their occupation than in the general population.

Given the sacrifices that these essential employees are making to keep us safe, we are introducing legislation to eliminate this burden of proof on workers who have contracted COVID-19. Under this bill, coronavirus will be presumed to be an occupational disease for employees of life-sustaining businesses and occupations.

Professionals in each of these fields are asking us to make this change happen. Please join us in thanking these workers who are risking their health and safety for the sake of ours by supporting this effort. We need to do our best to make sure we take care of these vital workers, too.