Frontline workers advocate for sick leave benefits in new bill

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Frontline workers in Massachusetts are calling on lawmakers to pass several major bills this session.

Hundreds of front-line workers across the state say they just want to be protected against the virus, which includes paid sick time if they catch COVID and hazard pay for working during the state of emergency.  

The Labor and Workforce Development Committee met virtually on Tuesday to hear testimony on 21 different bills. Lawmakers will now consider a proposal to give all workers two weeks of paid sick time to self-isolate if they catch COVID OR if they have to care for a sick loved one.

Another bill being considered would prohibit employers from terminating workers who cannot physically report to their jobs due to the virus.

“In extreme cases, an employer will tell a worker injured or on the job not to go to the doctor or the hospital, they’ll tell their healthcare provider that they were injured somewhere other than at work, that’s something that employers direct some employees to do,” Sen. Jamie Elderidge said.

The committee didn’t vote on any of the bills Tuesday, however, they are expected to meet again soon to continue discussing these matters.

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