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Lawmakers introduce comp-related coronavirus bills

Posted On: Mar. 25, 2020 2:30 PM CST


Lawmakers in Ohio and New Jersey on Monday introduced coronavirus legislation that could affect workers compensation. 

New Jersey A.B. 3900, introduced by Democratic Rep. Shavonda Sumter, adds language regarding family leave and disability benefits during an epidemic-related emergency. The legislation would require employers to allow workers to use earned sick leave during a state of emergency declared by the governor due to an epidemic if an employee is quarantined or cares for a family member in quarantine.

In the case of an employee taking family temporary disability, leave to care for family members suffering from sickness including an illness caused by an epidemic of a communicable disease during a state of emergency would be compensable. The bill would also allow for compensable temporary disability leave during a state of emergency for employees who are required to be isolated or quarantined due to suspected exposure to the communicable disease. A companion bill, S.B. 2304, was introduced in the state’s Senate.

In Ohio, Democratic Rep. Kristin Boggs introduced H.B. 571, which would revise the state’s workers compensation law to make COVID-19 contracted by a peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical worker an occupational disease under certain circumstances.

Both bills await referral to a committee.

More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here