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12/08/2021 09:28 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20210&cosponId=33187
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 7, 2020 11:45 AM
From: Senator Steven J. Santarsiero
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protecting Workers During Public Health Emergencies
 
No one should have to fear losing their job, through no fault of their own, during a public health emergency. In the United States, the power to isolate and quarantine exists at both the federal and state level. Unfortunately, most states, including Pennsylvania, do not address whether an employer can fire an employee while under quarantine or in isolation. That’s why I’ll be introducing legislation to protect workers from retaliation when they take leave during public health emergencies, like the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

Since March 6, 2020, when Governor Wolf signed an emergency disaster declaration to provide increased support to state agencies involved in the response to the virus, the state has sent thousands of legal quarantine notices to the individuals with presumed positive cases of the virus. Fortunatley, the state has yet to enforce a quarantine through the legal process as the individuals in the state with presumed positive cases of the virus have voluntarily quarantined themselves at home.

However, we need to support workers so they can take the necessary precautions to prevent the spreading of the disease, without fear of repercussions from their employer. Workers should not be fired if they’ve been quarantined or isolated during a public health emergency.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.