Chairman Scott Joins Democrats in Urging House, Senate Leadership to Exclude Corporate Immunity in COVID-19 Relief Package
WASHINGTON – In a letter to House and Senate leadership, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) joined more than 30 Members, led by Reps. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Matt Cartwright (PA-08), in calling for the exclusion of the sweeping corporate immunity provisions proposed by the Senate Republicans in the forthcoming COVID-19 relief package. In the letter, Members oppose proposals to establish broad liability shields for businesses that fail to protect workers and consumers from health risks.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented hardships for businesses and individuals alike, and we recognize the importance of getting America up and running again as quickly and as safely as possible,” the Members wrote. “From nursing homes that failed to provide adequate and appropriate personal protective equipment for caregivers and residents, to food processing facilities that did not properly inform workers of potential and confirmed coronavirus cases at the facilities, to employers who punished workers for refusing to work without facemasks and other appropriate personal protective equipment, our communities have witnessed first-hand what happens when businesses fail to ensure the safety of their workplaces.”
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate communities across our country, we urge you to provide businesses with clear, enforceable standards so that they can reopen and operate safely and without fear. We also call on you to reject any call for federal corporate immunity which is unnecessary and will only harm American workers and consumers.”
In addition to opposing a federal COVID-19 liability shield that would undermine protections for consumers, workers and the public, Chairman Scott supports a wide range of provisions to expand worker protections amid the pandemic, including:
- Requiring the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration to establish an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19 spread on the job;
- Increasing availability of testing and contract tracing proportional to the scale and scope of the pandemic;
- Extending and expanding paid family and medical leave benefits for those with COVID-related condition, or to provide care to family members due to the pandemic;
- Establishing a presumptive eligibility for worker’s compensation for those with COVID-19;
- Providing federal assistance to eliminate any out of pocket costs, including co-pays and deductibles, for COVID-19 related treatment;
- Extending and expanding unemployment benefits; and
- Fully subsidizing the cost of COBRA health insurance premiums and providing incentives to expand Medicaid, so infected individuals will have coverage.
To read the full letter, click here.
Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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