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PRINTER'S NO. 3545
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2396
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY RAVENSTAHL, DERMODY, A. DAVIS, ROZZI, SCHLOSSBERG,
MARKOSEK, ULLMAN, BRIGGS, KULIK, SNYDER, FREEMAN, McCLINTON,
HOHENSTEIN, GALLOWAY, KINSEY, WILLIAMS, McCARTER, DELLOSO,
YOUNGBLOOD, DONATUCCI, ZABEL, KRUEGER, SANCHEZ, BOYLE,
McNEILL, PASHINSKI, HILL-EVANS, KENYATTA AND BURGOS,
APRIL 13, 2020
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND INDUSTRY, APRIL 13, 2020
AN ACT
Amending Title 35 (Health and Safety) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in Commonwealth services, providing
for work-related hazardous duty.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 35 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
ยง 7309. Work-related hazardous duty.
(a) Presumption of work-related hazardous duty.--
Notwithstanding any other provision of this title or any other
law or regulation to the contrary, an individual employed by a
life-sustaining business or occupation who is required to work
who contracts, has symptoms of or is otherwise exposed to an
infectious disease, including COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or any
other novel virus or infectious disease during the declaration
of a disaster emergency under section 7301 (relating to g eneral
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authority of Governor) , the declaration of an epidemic or a
public health emergency in this Commonwealth by the Governor or
a pandemic, which results in a period of hospitalization,
quarantine, isolation or other control measures due to infection
or exposure, shall establish a presumption that the individual's
medical condition or inability to work is work-related hazardous
duty.
(b) Hazardous duty deemed on-duty time.--An individual with
an established presumption of work-related hazardous duty under
subsection (a) may not be required to use sick time, vacation
time, personal time or any other accrued paid time off or
contractual time off to cover the period of incapacitation or
inability to work.
(c) Eligibility for unemployment compensation.--
Notwithstanding any provision of the act of December 5, 1936
(2nd Sp.Sess., 1937 P.L.2897, No.1), known as the Unemployment
Compensation Law, an individual with an established presumption
of work-related hazardous duty under subsection (a) shall be
eligible and qualified for unemployment compensation for the
duration of the period of incapacitation or inability to work.
(d) Eligibility for workers' compensation.--Notwithstanding
any provision of the act of June 2, 1915 (P.L.736, No.338),
known as the Workers' Compensation Act, an individual with an
established presumption of work-related hazardous duty under
subsection (a) shall be eligible and qualified for workers'
compensation for all medical costs related to infection or
exposure.
(e) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
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"Individual employed by a life-sustaining business or
occupation." Front-line employees and other individuals
employed by or under contract with a life-sustaining business or
entity who are required to work during a public health
emergency. The term shall include, but may not be limited to:
(1) First responders, including law enforcement
officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and
other individuals who are considered to be first responders.
(2) Correction officers.
(3) Emergency services dispatchers.
(4) Ambulance drivers.
(5) Retail workers, including restaurant, food services
and grocery store workers, cashiers and other support staff.
(6) Food and agriculture workers.
(7) Medical, health care and public health workers,
including doctors, nursing professionals, physician
assistants, paramedics and other support staff.
(8) Pharmacists and any cashiers and other support
staff.
(9) Home health care workers.
(10) Public utility workers, including workers engaged
in providing telecommunications, energy, water and wastewater
services and public works.
(11) Employees of State or local government.
(12) Trash collectors.
(13) Warehouse workers.
(14) Any other individual employed by a life-sustaining
business or occupation who is required to work during a
public health emergency.
"Infectious disease." A disease which is caused by a
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microorganism, such as a bacterium, virus or protozoan, which is
not normally found in the human body and which is capable of
causing infection. Some, but not all, infectious diseases are
contagious, meaning they can spread from person to person,
including COVID-19 or the coronavirus. Other infectious diseases
can spread from animals or insects to humans, but not from
person to person.
"Life-sustaining business or occupation." A list of
businesses or occupations, as designated by the Governor, that
perform or conduct a range of vital operations, functions and
services that are essential to assisting the Commonwealth and
its political subdivisions in protecting people and their
communities while ensuring continuity of functions critical and
essential to public health and safety, as well as economic and
homeland security, and that should continue normal operations,
appropriately modified to account for the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention's and the Department of Health's
workforce and customer protection guidance, during the
declaration of a disaster or public health emergency.
"Public health emergency." An emergency declaration by the
Governor of an occurrence or imminent threat of a disease or
condition of critical public health importance with the
following characteristics:
(1) Is believed to be caused by any of the following:
(i) The emergence and spread of a novel or
previously controlled or eradicated infectious disease.
(ii) An infectious disease epidemic in this
Commonwealth or a pandemic.
(2) Poses a high probability of any of the following in
the affected population:
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(i) Death.
(ii) Serious or long-term disabilities.
(iii) Widespread exposure to an infectious disease,
which poses a significant risk of substantial present or
future harm to the public health and safety.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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