O’Mara, Snyder draft legislation to aid essential employees with collecting workers compensation

HARRISBURG, April 15 — State Reps. Jennifer O’Mara, D-Delaware, and Pam Snyder, D-Greene/Fayette/Washington, will introduce a bill this legislative session to make it easier for essential employees to collect workers compensation if they contract COVID-19 coronavirus on the job.

Their legislation would deem COVID-19 as an occupational disease for employees of life-sustaining businesses and occupations. This would remove the burden of proving that COVID-19 is occurring more in their occupation than in the general population.

“Pennsylvanians who still are showing up to work every day as we overcome a global pandemic jeopardize or sacrifice their health and the health of their families to ensure that our state continues to function,” O’Mara said. “Chances are that they will come into contact with COVID-19.

“We need to make filing for workers compensation as simple as possible to show that we haven’t forgotten or given up on our essential employees, just like how they aren’t giving up on us.”

“We rely on these essential employees to protect us and keep us safe, and right now, they are on the front lines responding to the pandemic that’s affected every corner of our state,” Snyder said. “Removing the burden of proof on workers who have contracted COVID-19 is the right thing to do. They’re putting their lives on the line to help each one of us, and we need to all we can to take care of them.”

For more information on the bill, those interested can contact O’Mara’s office at (610) 544-9878 or Snyder’s office at (724) 966-8953.