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New Jersey State Senate passes S-2476

New Jersey State Senate passes S-2476 – Cost of Living Adjustment in Workers’ Compensation to Dependents of Essential Workers Who Died of COVID-19.

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Bill S-2476 passed the Senate by a vote of 38-1 Monday, June 15th, 2020. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Troy Singleton, D-7th District, and Dawn Marie Addiego, D-8th District, will provide extra workers’ compensation benefits to dependents of essential workers who died from COVID-19.

State Sen. Troy Singleton said the bill, S2476, is a way to recognize and honor as meaningful the service during the pandemic of essential workers, many of whom are lower-paid hourly workers.

“This is an opportunity for us to put a marker down that these lives are important and the work that they do is truly essential and making sure that we respect that,” Singleton said.

Monday’s vote would be the second step the state Senate has been taken steps to expand workers’ compensation coverage for essential employees who contract coronavirus. Last month, it passed a bill 27-10 that creates a rebuttable presumption that if essential workers get sick, it happened on the job.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said S2380 would help people earning small salaries such as clerks at grocery stores and pharmacies who are being exposed to risk.

“We did this for police and fire not too long ago and it was the right thing to do for them, and I think it’s the right thing to do to people who don’t have a choice but to go to work,” Sweeney said.