Governor Newsom signs legislation to protect California's workforce amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Friday, September 18, 2020
Gov. Newsom signs bills to protect CA workers amid pandemic
Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills Thursday protecting California's workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Governor Newsom signed two pieces of legislation Thursday that expand rules to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 and assist them if they contract it.

"Protecting workers is critical to slowing the spread of this virus," Gov. Newsom said in a press release.

The first of the legislation SB 1159 introduced by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), 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. This includes receiving necessary medical care and wage replacement benefits if tested positive.

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AB 685 by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) ensures timely notification to employees, local and state public health officials of positive cases in the workplace. This will help workers take necessary precautions such as seeking testing, getting medical help or complying with quarantine directives.

"These two laws will help California workers stay safe at work and get the support they need if they are exposed to COVID-19," said Gov. Newsom.

The worker protection package adds to the administration's efforts to expand protection for essential workers, including expanded child care, access to testing and distribution of personal protection equipment in the workplace.

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