LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY, MAY 12, 2020
Workers compensation reform legislation for coronavirus-infected workers released from the Senate Labor Committee along party lines
Please TAKE ACTION and urge your State Senator to vote “YES” on this bill on Thursday
Today, S-2380, sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Sens. Robert Singer, R-30th District, and Linda Greenstein, D-14th District, was released from the Senate Labor Committee by a vote of 3-1-1. Voting in favor of the bill were Sen. Fred H. Madden Jr., D-4th District, Joseph A. Lagana, D-38th District, and Greenstein. Voting against the bill was Michael L. Testa Jr., R-1st District. Sen. Anthony M. Bucco, R-25th District, abstained.
New Jersey State AFL-CIO Legislative Affairs Director Eric Richard testified remotely in support of the legislation. His testimony can be found HERE. The bill is strongly opposed by businesses and the insurance industry.
The bill seeks to correct a flaw in the current workers compensation system concerning the “Burden of Proof.” The reform would positively impact essential workers infected by the coronavirus at their place of employment. The issue of “presumption,” often referred to as the “burden of proof,” currently requires workers to prove that they were injured (or infected) at their place of employment. For occupational diseases or infection, the “burden of proof” requirement often results in workers being denied workers compensation coverage because the employer requires the worker to identify how they contracted the virus at work. The bill would establish a presumption that workers were infected at their place of employment unless the employer could prove otherwise.
The bill has now been posted for a Senate vote this Thursday, May 14, 2020. Please take action RIGHT NOW by CLICKING HERE to send your State Senator a pre-written e-mail asking them to vote YES on this important pro-worker piece of legislation.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks the sponsors of this bill, the senators who voted for it in committee today, and the unions that supported the bill in committee today and that have been working toward enacting this much-needed piece of legislation.