New Jersey Senate President Sweeney is introducing a bill this week which will be crucial for assisting frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill ensures essential workers are eligible for workers' compensation if they contract COVID-19. Interestingly, the worker will not need to prove they contracted the Coronavirus at work in order to receive workers compensation benefits.
Senator Sweeney stated “The men and women who are on the front lines protecting our health and safety and providing the vital services we all need during this crisis must be assured that they have basic worker protections and that they can get workers' compensation if they fall ill to the coronavirus.”
New Jersey has been one of the states hit the hardest by the pandemic. As of April 17th, 2020, there are over 75,000 Coronavirus cases of which over 3500 people have died.
The bill is backed by the New Jersey State American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). The AFL-CIO stated that requiring an essential employee to prove they contracted COVID-19 at a specific workplace is nearly impossible.
Delaware has not passed similar legislation yet, however it is something we will be closely monitoring.
If you have been injured on a work accident, Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill are here to help.