Thursday, 17 September 2020 22:55

Gov. Newsom Signs Legislation to Protect CA Workforce Amid Pandemic 


Gov. Gavin Newsom on Spet. 17 signed two bills as part of his worker protection package, SB 1159 by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and AB 685 by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes, D-San Bernardino.

SB 1159 expands access to workers’ compensation and makes it easier for first responders, health care workers and people who test positive due to an outbreak at work to get the support they need, including necessary medical care and wage replacement benefits.


AB 685 ensures timely notification to employees and local and state public health officials of COVID-19 cases at workplaces. This notification will help workers take necessary precautions such as seeking testing, getting medical help or complying with quarantine directives.


“Protecting workers is critical to slowing the spread of this virus,” said Newsom. “These two laws will help California workers stay safe at work and get the support they need if they are exposed to COVID-19.”


“I thank the governor, my colleagues in the Legislature and the many stakeholders who worked with us on SB 1159 to improve the lives of the Californians who are working to keep our state, our economy and our communities operating. These workers help all of us meet the incredible challenges we face today,” said Hill. “For more than 100 years, California has stood for worker safety. In signing SB 1159, Gov. Newsom underscores and reinforces that commitment by ensuring vulnerable workers are not left out in the cold.”


“In the age of COVID-19 our essential workers risk their lives and the lives of their loved ones in our fields, hospitals, grocery stores, meatpacking plants, restaurant kitchens and countless other businesses in our state,” said Reyes. “COVID-19 infections and deaths disproportionately affect the Latino, Black and Asian Pacific Islander communities. Communities that make up the majority of our state’s low-wage workers.

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