The New York State AFL-CIO is urging the Workers Compensation Board to provide health care coverage and wage replacement benefits to workers who were exposed to the coronavirus while on the job.

The union approved a resolution backing the move Friday, and sent a letter Monday to the Workers Compensation Board and its chairwoman, Clairissa Rodriguez.

What You Need To Know

  • The AFL-CIO represents 2.5 million workers

  • The union says workers comp needs to be updated to reflect pandemic

  • Some workers could lose out on benefits

The resolution notes “many workers” were likely exposed to the virus prior to the March shutdown order in New York. At the same time, having a worker prove where they contracted the virus could be cumbersome, and “will have the effect of denying workers the medical care and wage replacement they are legally entitled to and denying the families of those who have fallen the survivor and death benefits to which they are legally entitled,” the union’s resolution stated.

The labor group in its letter noted 13 other states have already approved similar provisions for workers affected by the pandemic.

“It is disheartening that New York, which prides itself on being a leader in workplace protections, has fallen behind,” wrote AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento. “But it is not too late to act.”