SACRAMENTO, Calif. - On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced he has signed an executive order that will expand workers' compensation to more employees deemed essential during the pandemic.
Newsom said some frontline workers were shut out the original announcements at the federal and state level, such as paramedics and firefighters.
“This is a way of providing support to our critical workers that are essential in our capacity not only to meet the needs of people today, but as we begin to enter into this new phase and start to reopen our economy, are essential for our capacity to deliver our services that we want to expand and increase across our state,” Newsom said.
Those who have tested COVID-19 positive are eligible for workers’ compensation if they reported it to their employer between March 19 and within 60 days from Wednesday if they became sick.
The worst thing we can do is have a worker who has tested positive, won’t tell anybody, and will spread the disease because he or she can’t afford to work," Newsom said.
“This benefit applies to all workers. All of those frontline workers that are risking their health and safety to ensure the health and production of all of us. Our nurses, our first responders, janitors, warehouse workers, farm workers, grocery store workers and all of those that are putting themselves on the line,” said Victoria Hassid, Chief Deputy Director of California Department of Industrial Relations.
“Workplace health and safety is public health and safety,” she said.
The governor also said he has launched a new website to help Californians locate testing centers in their communities.
Newsom said the current focus is on rural and urban areas, which he often refers to as “testing deserts.”