Lorena Gonzalez Proposes Protections for All Essential Workers Who Get Sick During COVID-19 Crisis

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

SACRAMENTO – (Tuesday, April 28, 2020) – All essential workers in California will have a presumptive eligibility for workers’ compensation if they contract COVID-19 while working during the public health crisis, under a measure announced today by State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego).

“Workers at essential jobs in our communities continue to put themselves at risk by engaging with co-workers and the general public,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “We owe it to all of our essential workers, who are at a severely heightened risk of getting sick on the job, to ensure they will receive workers’ compensation if they do get sick with COVID-19.”

The measure would apply to workers in the grocery, retail, warehouse and transportation industries and any other industry deemed essential under the Governor’s Executive Order from March 19, 2020, except for those covered by concurrent proposed legislation, AB 664 (Cooper).

Under this proposed measure, if a worker develops COVID-19 during the period their employment is considered essential, then their illness will be conclusively presumed to have arisen out of an in the course of their work. It would also provide compensation awarded for that injury, including full hospital, surgical, medical treatment, disability indemnity and death benefits.

For questions or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos: samantha.gallegos@asm.ca.gov