State Senator Walter F. Timilty continues to advocate for the unique needs of essential workers that have been spotlighted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Timilty has signed on as co-sponsor of several pieces of legislation to help the front-line workers who are placing their own lives at risk to help others. These bills address emergency hazard health duty, emergency paid sick time, and public safety overtime.
“These are unprecedented times we are facing. My colleagues in the State Legislature and I have been acting swiftly to help those in need,” said Timilty. “Additionally, I have been working tirelessly at the State House and in the district since this crisis hit. Workers are struggling more than ever to stay safe, and I have been backing critical pieces of legislation during this time. Never before has the workforce been so impacted.”
The bills co-sponsored by Timilty to help the workforce include:
- S 2602, An Act relative to emergency hazard health duty. This legislation establishes a presumption that any Public Safety Officials who contract, have symptoms of or who otherwise become affected with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that results in hospitalization, quarantine, or self-quarantined measures, contracted their medical condition or incapacity to work in the line of duty; classifies the condition as work-related; defines public safety officials as including any individuals employed as police, fire personnel, correction officers, dispatchers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, nursing professionals, and all individuals employed and considered as 1st responders; defines such time away from duty as on duty time; prohibits requiring use of sick time, vacation time, personal time or any other contractual time-off. On April 30th, this bill was recommitted to the committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
- SD 2870, An Act providing certain state employees sick leave for COVID-19 related absences. The legislation will ultimately allow a state employee to donate sick time to another employee impacted by the COVID-19 disease, without going through the process of a legislative sick bank. Therefore, this will help medically vulnerable state employees, without going through the usual barriers of acquiring additional sick time. On March 26th, this bill was referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means.
- S 2658, An Act providing emergency assistance for municipal public safety overtime. This legislation requires the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to establish a grant program to provide funding for cities and towns for the overtime costs of municipal police officers, municipal law enforcement personnel with arrest powers, municipal personnel with authority to enforce public health regulations, members of the fire department, and emergency medical technicians during the COVID-19 state of emergency. On April 21st, this bill was referred to the committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
- S 2701, An Act relative to emergency paid sick time. This legislation guarantees all workers up to ten additional work days (80 hours) of job-protected paid sick time for immediate use during this emergency or any future public health emergency; ·wage replacement at the worker’s regular rate of pay, up to a maximum of $850 per week; a pro rata share of emergency paid sick time for part-time employees based on their actual or average work schedule over a 14 day period; the right to take paid sick leave if a worker is diagnosed with COVID-19, experiencing symptoms and awaiting a diagnosis, or quarantined or self-quarantined; the right to take paid sick leave to care for a family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19, experiencing symptoms and awaiting a diagnosis, or quarantined or self-quarantined. On May 7th, this bill was referred to the committee on Labor and Workforce Development.