Lawmakers Call for Much-Needed Protections for Medical Workers as they Combat Pandemic
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) today led 76 lawmakers in calling for next COVID-19 stimulus package to include survivor benefits, commiserate compensation, and workplace protections for medical personnel as they comeback coronavirus.
Torres, who successfully advocated for direct assistance for contract employees and gig economy workers in the last emergency relief bill, led lawmakers in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, urging that the next package achieve four things on behalf of medical workers combatting the disease right now:
Provide survivor benefits for family members who lose loved ones combatting the disease, and financial support, including long-term financial assistance for those infected;
Prevent cuts to pay and/or benefits as medical companies grapple with the financial burden of the pandemic;
Protect health care workers against retaliation for acting as whistleblowers or for using their own personal protective equipment (PPE); and
Provide hazard pay to medical workers on the front line, as well as financial assistance to cover the needs of the job, such as temporary housing for quarantine purposes.
Rep. Torres released the following statement:
“Medical workers across the country are putting their lives on the line to keep others alive – we must provide them with the benefits and protections they truly deserve,” Rep. Torres said. “The men and women walking into danger every single day deserve a commitment that this country will compensate them fairly for the risks they take on all of our behalf, and protect them in the future should they or a loved one fall ill as a result of their bravery. I’m pleased to see so many of my colleagues from across the political spectrum join me in urging that we treat our medical workers like the heroes they truly are.”
Rep. Torres’ letter is endorsed by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Nurses Association (ANA).
“ACEP appreciates the leadership of Rep. Torres and others in Congress who are leading efforts to strengthen workplace protections for emergency physicians and other health care workers risking their lives fighting the public health crisis of our lifetime,” said ACEP president, William Jaquis, MD, FACEP. “Now more than ever we need to ensure those on the frontlines have the resources and support they need to fight this protracted battle.”