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Sweeney backs bill expanding workers comp for coronavirus to all essential workers

Samantha Marcus | April 13, 2020 | NJ Advance Media |


State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said he will introduce a bill Monday making it easier for essential workers in New Jersey who contract the coronavirus to qualify for workers’ compensation.

The bill would remove the requirement that workers deemed essential during the pandemic and who become sick prove they contracted the coronavirus at work.

Nearly 62,000 people in New Jersey have tested positive for the coronavirus and at least 2,350 have died. Much economic activity in the state has ground to a halt, as such “nonessential” businesses as hair salons, gyms, retail stores, casinos and movie theaters have been ordered closed.

And while many workers are able to work from home, Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said the public is relying on the essential health care and grocery store workers and public safety officials who still go to work each day and risk getting sick.

“We’re asking them to go to work everyday,” Sweeney said. “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.”


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