New Jersey may become the next state to pass a law assuming that major workers acquiring COVID-19 did so at work.
Legislators in the New Jersey Assembly and Senate on Thursday passed S.B. 2380 with a 42-27 vote in the Assembly and a 27-12 vote in the Senate. The bill, introduced in early May by Democratic Senate Stephen Sweeney, would create a counterintuitive assumption for key workers seeking workers' compensation for acquiring COVID-19 at work during a declared emergency.
Significant employees are identified in the legislation as workers whose employment information is considered necessary during an emergency and recovery; public or private employees whose employment duties are important for the public's health, safety and welfare; emergency rooms and workers at health care facilities and those who perform jobs that support a health care facility, such as laundry, research and hospital food.
The bill moves to Gov. Phil Murphy's desk. If the legislation is signed, the legislation would enter into force immediately and be retroactive until 9 March. A spokeswoman for Gov Murphy declined to comment on whether he would sign the legislation.