COVID Workplace Presumption/Hazard Pay/Parental and Family Leave/ Removal of Women MBE
The Chamber submitted testimony opposing the passage of H.5474, An Act Relating to Labor and Labor Relations – Workers’ Compensation – Occupational Diseases. The hearing will be held Monday, March 1st at 6:00 pm in the House Labor Committee. H.5474 creates a presumption that the contraction of COVID-19 is work related for employees in essential jobs. Currently, the Worker’s Compensation Act provides benefits for those where causation to work is established. H.5474 would give the presumption 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, and truck drivers and utility workers. This change would result in increased premiums to Rhode Island businesses. Under current law, employees who cannot provide a direct causation, have benefits available to them through unemployment insurance, pandemic federal benefits, TDI and TCI. This change unfairly places the financial burdens associated with COVID-19 on the business community.