California aims to make it mandatory for a business to notify workers within 24 hours of learning of exposure to COVID-19.
Otherwise, failure to do so could result in a misdemeanor with a $10,000 fine, said a CBS8 report.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego proposed Assembly Bill 685 for this purpose.
“We expect employers would, of course, tell workers if there’s been an outbreak or if they’d been exposed, but that’s just not happening, and it won’t unless the state steps in and requires it.”
“(This is) essential to stop the bleeding really in our community where we’ve seen an increase.”
The Other Proponents
Gonzalez is not alone in pushing this agenda.
Among the other proponents are Assembly members Eloise Gomez Reyes of San Bernardino and Robert Rivas of Hollister.
The bill proposed that employers should provide a 24-hour notice.
It aims to notify all employees at a worksite if there is any worker exposed to COVID-19.
Lawmakers wanted employers to regularly report to Cal/OSHA and the California Department of Public Health.
This is in case there are COVID-19 positive test results, diagnosis, order to quarantine or isolate, or death that could be COVID- 19 related.
Straight From The Bill Author
Reyes, who is the author of the bill, said without the requirement to report Covid-19 exposure, no workplace in California is safe.
Assembly member Reyes added:
“Essential workers are risking their lives and the lives of their loved ones whenever they go to work, and although currently, employers must report fatalities and serious incidents, it is only recommended that employers report infections. “
Bill co-author Rivas also echoed the seriousness of workers’ rights to know if they’ve been exposed to this virus.
“Many workers like my grandfather, a lifelong farm-worker from Mexico, just can’t up and quit, so if we have designated workers as essential.”
“It is our responsibility to treat them as essential and ensure they are informed and protected.”
According to Gonzalez, over 140,000 Latinos in California have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 3,000 have died.