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Florida Lawmakers Working on COVID-19 Employee Protections Statewide

Florida Lawmakers, COVID-19 Employee Protections Statewide

As the Republican-led Legislature moves quickly to provide broad COVID-19 liability limits for businesses. Some lawmakers say further protections should be provided for primary. Front-line workers showing up for work. Members of House and Senate panels have expressed concerns. About workers who allege they contracted COVID-19 on the job. They aren’t getting workers compensation benefits. A state report shows that 29,400 coronavirus-related workers. The compensation claims were filed as of Dec. 31, including 13,409 claims. Being filed by health care workers and educators. Forty-three per cent of the overall claims had been denied payment. According to the monthly report, published by state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.  Nearly 46% of claims filed by health care workers and educators had been rejected.

Claims related to COVID-19 accounted for 31% of the 93,228 workers. The compensation claims filed in 2020. But payments on those claims accounted for less than 8%. Of the $727,329,103 workers compensation payments last year. The statistics are troubling for Senate Judiciary Committee member Perry Thurston. The one who offered a proposed amendment this week to a high-profile bill. That would provide COVID-19 liability protections for businesses.

The amendment, which did not get added to the bill. It would have changed workers compensation law to include a presumption. That a wide range of health-care professionals. Those who test positive for COVID-19 contracted it at work. The amendment would have applied to physicians, nurses, dentists. Emergency medical personnel. Also, people who work at clinical labs, doctors’ offices. As well as hospitals and nursing homes.

Coronavirus concerns force five Florida lawmakers to self-isolate — but not  for long

Florida Lawmakers

The people we are trying to protect, they deserve this protection. They deserve to know that if they are putting their life on the line and care for people. That if something should happen, at least the worker’s comp benefit is there for them.  Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat and attorney. They told the News Service of Florida. And if you think about it, what is workers. It is designed to be self-executing. By meaning that we don’t have to argue this thing. Give them that protection. Believing it’s the basic minimum.

Some workers already have the protections Thurston is pushing for. Patronis last year issued an order making clear that a presumption exists. Also, that certain front-line state employees who test positive for COVID-19. They got infected while working. Patronis told the press in December that, through the order. He was able to secure workers. The compensation coverage for state employees. The ones who didn’t have that peace of mind before.

Insurers licensed to provide workers compensation coverage in Florida. They are being reminded of this statutory requirement. Of which must be applied on a non-discriminatory basis. Altmaier’s memo said. The OIR expects workers compensation insurers to comply with all of the provisions of Florida’s Workers. The Compensation Law itself. For sure it will take appropriate action in the event of noncompliance.

Sen. Perry Thurston - PHOTO COURTESY SEN. PERRY THURSTON/FACEBOOK

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