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Vermont Senate advances comp bill for frontline workers


All “frontline workers” in Vermont — including first responders, health care and child care providers, and pharmacy and grocery workers — would be eligible for workers compensation benefits if they test positive for COVID-19 under a bill now advancing in Vermont.

The Vermont Senate passed S. 342 on Monday, calling on the state’s comp system “during a declared state of emergency related to COVID-19, (to) have authority to issue guidance and adopt procedures to extend deadlines or temporarily amend or waive specific requirements” in existing state laws that bar coverage for viruses, according to the latest draft.

Vermont joins several states that are considering or have already approved workers comp changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Vermont presumption bill lists a number of eligible workers and includes “a worker performing services that the (state Workers’ Compensation) Commissioner determines place the worker at a similarly elevated risk of being exposed to or contracting COVID-19 as the other occupations listed.”

Meanwhile, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s recent emergency rule to provide comp coverage for similar workers was repealed Monday.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here