With many of California’s workplaces facing significant changes fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, state lawmakers are considering whether labor laws need to evolve too.
Legislators have proposed expanding workers’ compensation eligibility so that more employees will be covered if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, increasing the number of sick days for food service workers and requiring employers to pay a portion of utility and internet bills for teleworkers.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that he plans to work “hand in glove” with the Legislature to expand workplace protections, including guaranteeing COVID-19-related sick leave, easing workers’ compensation claim requirements, enforcing labor laws and ensuring employers are reporting outbreaks.
“The reality is that we will come back to a different society, a different economy and a different definition of workplaces when this is over,” said Victor Narro, project director and professor of labor studies at the UCLA Labor Center.
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