Newsom Signs Legislation Providing Worker Protections Against COVID-19

On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills to provide protections to specified workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures signed by Newsom include SB 1159 by Senator Jerry Hill and AB 685 by Assembly Member Eloise Gómez Reyes.

SB 1159 expands access to workers’ compensation by creating a rebuttable presumption for specified employees, including health care workers, firefighters, and peace officers. This presumption removes certain barriers to access to workers’ compensation for individuals likely infected by COVID-19 through their work.

AB 685 requires all public and private employers to report COVID-19 outbreaks to local public health officials and notify within one business day known COVID-19 cases to employees who may have been exposed.

The full announcement from the Governor’s Office is available here.