ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Senate passed legislation unanimously Tuesday making COVID-19 an occupational disease covered by workers’ compensation.
“Our first responders and healthcare workers cannot stay at home during this crisis and are instead putting their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe and care for those who are suffering,” said Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth). “Taking this action was urgently necessary, and I thank my colleagues in the legislature on both sides of the aisle for making it a priority and getting it done. I also thank those at SEIU MN Health Care, AFSCME 5, AFSCME 65, MN Nurses Association , MN Professional Fire Fighters, MN Police and Peace Officers Association , MN Fraternal Order of Police, and the Teamsters Joint Council for working to secure these critical protections for our workers. I look forward to Governor Walz signing this into law quickly.”
This will now provide access to workers’ compensation claims for several occupations. This includes: licensed peace officers; firefighters; paramedics; nurses, healthcare workers, correction officers, and security counselors employed by the state or a political subdivision at a corrections, detention, or secure treatment facility; emergency medical technicians; health care providers, nurses, and assistive employees employed in a health care, home care, or long term care setting, with direct COVID-19 patient care or ancillary work in COVID-19 patient units; and workers who are required to provide childcare to first responders and health care workers under Executive Orders 20-02 and 20-19.
The legislation now moves to the Governor’s desk for his signature.