Workers Compensation: COVID-19

Workers Compensation: COVID-19

Seamless delivery man riding bicycle on 6th avenue during the Coronavirus pandemic. – Manhattan, New York, USA – April 5, 2020 (Shutterstock)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we implored the Workers’ Compensation Board to do the right thing and make sure that the workers carrying us through this pandemic had the health care, wage replacement and even death benefits they need if they contract the virus on the job. Sadly, they have failed to act.

That is why we now must ask the legislature to take action to force their hand. S. 8266 (Ramos)/A.10401 (Simotas) would create a presumption in the law that those who must work outside their home during the pandemic and who contracted the disease did so during their job. Thirteen other states have already taken similar actions, but New York has fallen behind.

Without this bill, insurance carriers can force workers to trace back their infection to a specific person, denying them the benefits they are entitled to. No reasonable person can deny that essential workers are at a greater risk of contracting the disease, and the law must reflect that reality.

We need your help. Contact your state Senator and Assemblymember and ask them to cosponsor and contact their leadership to urge them to bring the bill to a vote.

Essential workers have sacrificed to keep the rest of us healthy, safe and fed. The least we can do as a state is ensure that should they get sick as a result of that work that the benefits that have been put in place to protect them can actually be accessed.

Take Action! ->

Thank you for always being there to assist union members and all workers. They need your help now more than ever.

In Unity,

Mario Cilento

President New York State AFL- CIO

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