Amendment #478 to H5150

COVID-19 Workers' Compensation Presumption

Mr. Gordon of Bedford moves to amend the bill by adding the following section:-

SECTION XX. SECTION 1. For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall have the following meanings:-

“Employer”, any employer as defined in section one of Chapter 152 that may operate subject to any executive order issued by the Governor during the State of emergency

“Employee”, any individual who works for an employer outside of the individual’s home and who has any contact with any other person.

“State of emergency”, the state of emergency called by Executive Order No. 591 dated March 10, 2020 concerning the health care crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus, along with any subsequent states of emergency that may be declared by the Commonwealth from time to time or at any time due to health care concerns raised by the COVID-19 virus.

SECTION 2. Chapter 34 of Section 152 of the general laws is hereby amended by inserting the following language after the second paragraph of said Chapter:

Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, any employee, which shall include but not be limited to any individual employed in a health care facility such as a hospital, physician’s office, clinic, laboratory, nursing home, rest home or assisted living facility, any frontline healthcare worker, working in a healthcare facility or in the community,

or at any pharmacy, grocery store or any other employer that includes contact with the public or other workers such as a visiting nurse, who contracts, has symptoms of or otherwise becomes affected with COVID-19 that results in a period of hospitalization, quarantine, or requires self-quarantine measures as a result of being infected or coming into contact with someone who is infected with the COVID-19 virus, shall have their medical condition or incapacity to work presumed to be work-related and constitute a per se qualification for protection under this Section, without application of any waiting period.

Said employee shall not be required to use said employee’s accrued sick time, vacation time, personal time or any other contractual time-off to cover said period of incapacitation or inability to perform regular duty work.

SECTION 3. The employer shall allow the employee to return to the employee’s previous position of employment with the employer when the period of quarantine, self-quarantine, recovery, or hospitalization is removed.

SECTION 4. The provisions of Sections 23 and 24 of Chapter 152 do not apply to claims brought under this Act, unless the employer demonstrates compliance with all relevant and active orders and advisories of the Governor of the Commonwealth concerning workplace safety restrictions during the state of emergency, such as, but not limited to, the provision to employees of available Personal Protective Equipment and appropriate safe distancing opportunities.

SECTION 5. This act shall be in force to protect employees who are exposed to the COVID-19 virus or are advised to quarantine or self-quarantine by any health official during the pendency of the state of emergency.

SECTION 6. An employee who chooses not to return to work for an employer due to a good-faith concern that the worker may be exposed to the COVID-19 virus will be considered eligible for benefits under Chapter 151A as if the employee had been constructively discharged.


Additional co-sponsor(s) added to Amendment #478 to H5150

COVID-19 Workers' Compensation Presumption


Marcos A. Devers

Michelle M. DuBois

Christina A. Minicucci

RoseLee Vincent

Nika C. Elugardo

Peter Capano

Tram T. Nguyen

Timothy R. Whelan

Kay Khan

Brian W. Murray

Tami L. Gouveia

Christopher Hendricks

Steven Ultrino

Antonio F. D. Cabral

James K. Hawkins

Jon Santiago

David M. Rogers

Thomas M. Stanley

Jack Patrick Lewis

Denise Provost

Alan Silvia

Mike Connolly

Patrick Joseph Kearney

Lindsay N. Sabadosa

Michelle L. Ciccolo

Harold P. Naughton, Jr.

Kathleen R. LaNatra

Natalie M. Higgins

Carmine Lawrence Gentile