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03.14.20

IFPTE Urges Congress to Provide Relief to Workers During Coronavirus Crisis

IFPTE sent a letter to House members this week in support of HR 6201, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The legislation - sponsored by several House Members, including House Education and Labor Committee Chairman, Bobby Scott - is set to be voted on in the House on before next Monday. It mandates free COVID-19 testing to anyone who needs it, requires employer give workers at least 14 days of paid sick leave, expands unemployment insurance and food assistance for working families, and includes a requirement for OSHA to issue an enforceable infectious disease standard among.

In endorsing the bill, IFPTE informed lawmakers the union is, “pleased that HR 6201 builds upon the DeLauro/Murray bill by providing comprehensive legislative relief for working families impacted by the fallout related to this national health crisis.”

IFPTE endorsed the DeLauro/Murry bill last week and also joined the AFL-CIO and other affiliate unions in requesting OSHA issue an emergency temporary standard for infectious diseases in the workplace.

More information on IFPTE's response to COVID-19 and it's impact can be found here.

UPDATE: The House passed an amended version of this bill by a vote of 363 votes to 40 that includes the following:

    • $500 million for emergency unemployment insurance (UI) grants to states that experience 10% increase in unemployment and full federal funding for an additional 26 weeks of UI in those states; plus $500 million for states for administrative costs and process of UI claims
    • $1 billion in food and nutrition assistance and administrative flexibility to provide benefits to low income populations and workers who lose their jobs due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 health emergency

    • Funds maintenance of food security and flexible and adaptive continuation of the National School Lunch Program

    • Funding for no cost COVID-19 testing coverage in TRICARE, federal employees, Veterans Health Administration, Indian Health Service, Medicare, Medicaid, and for those covered by private health plans.

    • Includes an amended Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act that requires employers with fewer than 500 employees and all government employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave for diagnosis, treatment, or quarantine related to COVID-19 or two-thirds of full pay for two weeks to care for affected family members or to care for a child whose school is closed.

      • While this bill does not cover paid sick leave for employers with over 500 employees and does not require OSHA to enact a workplace standard for infections diseases that are part of the COVID-19 Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2020 (see below) — issues IFPTE will continue to advocate for — it offers significant immediate relief on a number of fronts.

    Read IFPTE's Letter in in support of H.R. 6201, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

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