In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 107 requiring many businesses to close their doors until further notice.
Not all businesses and public services are closed, however. People still need to get food and essential items. They still need to make medical appointments and get treatment. We still need police, EMS workers and firefighters to keep us safe.
Essential workers may be protected under proposed bill
Heatlhcare workers, grocery store employees, public safety personnel and other essential workers are at the forefront of this epidemic. These brave men and women are risking their lives and health each day. It's critical that they receive adequate worker protections and benefits should they be injured or become ill on the job.
In order to protect New Jersey workers during this time, Senate President Stephen Sweeney introduced a new bill to make it easier for essential workers who become sick with COVID-19 to receive workers' compensation benefits. The bill, if passed into law, would basically mean an essential worker who gets the Coronavirus would be presumed to have gotten it at work.
If the bill is signed into law, the presumption will apply to essential workers who interact with the public. This would likely include workers (both private and public sector) who provide healthcare services, food, essential goods and public safety.
"We started with police and fire and all emergency responders. But think about the person working at the grocery store. They’re just as much on the front lines,” said Sweeney.
Under the Sweeney bill, workers who become sick with COVID-19 would not be required to take sick leave. Instead, their time away from work would be considered "on duty."
Our attorneys can help you get the benefits you need
The New Jersey workers' compensation attorneys at Shebell & Shebell, LLC applaud the efforts of workers who are selflessly risking their health to serve others. We are closely monitoring this legislation. If you have become ill on the job during this time, we can help you explore your legal options.
We also understand the added pressure workers are facing to keep up with the added demands and stressors during this time. This can lead to worker burnout, fatigue, workplace accident and injuries. That's why our legal team is dedicated to helping injured workers, especially those on the front lines fighting this pandemic, get the workers' compensation benefits they deserve.
We serve clients in Shrewsbury and Freehold, New Jersey. Contact us online or call (732) 663-1122 and schedule your free consultation with our legal team. We can also conduct remote legal consultations via FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype.