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Expansive assumption of communicable disease adopted



Washington's lawmakers are sending a bill to Government Jay Inslee that would create an expansive rebuttable presumption for frontline workers suffering from a contagious disease, such as COVID-19, during a public health procedure.

S.B. 5115, an amended version of which the Senate approved Wednesday in a vote of 32-16, would create an assumption that all communicable or communicable diseases that are subject to an emergency for public health will be considered occupational diseases while the emergency is in effect. The House approved the legislation earlier this month in a vote of 70-27.

The bill would create a rebuttable presumption that frontline workers suffering from such diseases did so during their employment, unless they are clearly and convincingly disproved.

The legislation defines frontline workers as including first responders, retail employees at companies that remain open during the declared public health care and workers in health care, childcare, corrections, mass transit, food processing, manufacturing and distribution

The bill also describes requirements for employers regarding the provision of personal protective equipment and employees' sick leave, and prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who give rise to reasonable concerns about the safety of their workplace during public health.

If signed into law, the legislation would enter into force immediately.

More insurance and labor compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here . Catalog

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