Yesterday Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) filed SD.2865, An Act relative to emergency hazard health duty. This emergency legislation has been filed to protect the health and safety of the Commonwealth’s first responders by providing financial security to those who contract or are exposed to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Individuals employed as police, fire personnel, correction officers, dispatchers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, nursing professionals, and any other individual considered a 1st responder shall be protected under this bill.
Hospitalization, quarantine or self-quarantine as a result of contraction or exposure to Coronavirus and the subsequent inability to work will be considered work related. This time will also be considered on duty time, and public safety officials will not have to use his or her sick days, vacation time, personal days or any other contractual time off while incapacitated due to the virus.
“I think that we are facing enough uncertainty as it is right now” said Senator Moore. “Therefore, it is imperative that we provide these measures to our first responders in the Commonwealth, so they can protect their health while knowing they are financially secure. By allowing these public safety officials to stay home when necessary, we are also helping limit the spread of the virus throughout the state.”
Time off taken due to the Coronavirus will be referred to as “emergency hazard health duty.” The legislation has been referred to the Joint Committee on Rules for expeditious action.