The list of needed legislative action to combat the coronavirus crisis that now is unfolding in Wisconsin, and the rest of the nation, can be printed in a neat and concise fashion. The following comes from the AFL-CIO, and is not a partisan call but one that will aid the entirety of a nation who are frightened and need leadership.
It is time that Republicans and Democrats fixate on the health of the citizens and place their political goals in a storage bin.
- Establish a minimum 14-day sick day bank for every worker impacted by the pandemic.
- No worker should be punished or ‘dinged’ for calling in sick.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must issue an emergency temporary standard to ensure the immediate protection of workers in health care workplaces and other high-risk workplaces identified by the Centers for Disease Control.
- Those who are affected by the virus while receiving unemployment benefits should be exempt from the requiremen to search for work.
- Ensure that working people understand that if they are injured or infected as a result of their work, they are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
- All people should have access to free COVID-19 testing and no person should have to incur any cost whatsoever, whether in the form of copays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket costs, related to treatment for COVID-19. Costs should not be a barrier to testing and treatment.
- Personal Protective Equipment should be readily available for anyone tasked with treating potentially infected populations.
- Coronavirus related time off should not count against a worker’s Family and Medical Leave Act benefits.