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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 31, 2020 04:47 PM
From: Senator Maria Collett and Sen. Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: American Working Family Relief Action Plan – Front-line Worker Protections
We are facing unprecedented challenges as we fight the spread of COVID-19. As the country and the world institute policies and procedures on how to keep our communities safe, our front-line workers continue to operate in dangerous working conditions on a daily basis.  Workers in healthcare facilities, public assistance workers and other direct support professionals, and our first responders, face increased risk to their health as we rely on them to provide life-sustaining services to our communities. 

We must provide front-line workers with the tools necessary for maintaining strong mental and physical health and to mitigate the spread of coronavirus on work sites that are still in physical operation.    

Our legislation would do so in several ways:
  • Provide emergency funding for safety equipment, including personal protective equipment such as N95 masks, and mental health supports for healthcare workers and other public sector workers classified as essential;
  • Create clear standards for the implementation of containment control plans in healthcare facilities, including emergency standards and accountability;
  • Prioritize front-line workers in COVID-19 testing;
  • Suspend, or limit, in-person services to the greatest extent possible by shifting to virtual assistance working standards for public workers classified as essential;
  • Require cleaning standards for workplaces that remain open during this crisis to meet or exceed state and federal standards for COVID-19 prevention.
Together, we can stop the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and using other transmittal mitigation strategies across our communities.  However, we still need to take action on behalf of those workers currently unable to implement mitigation strategies by providing them with explicit supports to keep them as safe as possible.   

We hope you will join us by signing on to this important worker protection legislation.

Introduced as SB1253