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Rhode Island introduces COVID presumption bill

Posted On: Jun. 19, 2020 1:10 PM CST

Rhode Island

Lawmakers in Rhode Island on Thursday introduced a bill that would clear the red tape for benefits for workers in several industries presumed to have caught COVID-19 while on the job.

The latest state to introduce a COVID-19 presumption proposal, a draft of H. 8066, states that workers who have “symptoms of or otherwise become infected with” COVID-19 during the time period in which the state, federal government or any municipality declared a state of emergency” during the pandemic, “that results in a period of hospitalization, quarantine, or requires self-quarantine measures as a result of being infected or coming into contact with someone who is infected… shall have their medical condition or incapacity to work presumed to be work-related.”

The bill states that workers would not be required to use their sick time, vacation time, or personal time or any other contractual time-off to cover a period of incapacitation or inability to perform regular work duties. “The time of incapacitation or inability to perform their duties shall be considered as emergency hazard health disability,” the bill states.

The bill applies to public safety officials including, but not limited to, police, fire, EMS, medical facility workers, correctional officers, dispatchers, paramedics, pharmacists, pharmaceutical technicians, grocery or retail workers, essential state and municipal employees, public transportation employees, parcel and freight delivery employees, truck drivers and utility workers.

The bill was referred to the House Labor committee.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here