Sending Office: Honorable Val Butler Demings
Ensure that TSA Employees who contract COVID-19 are entitled to workers’ compensation
On March 13, the President declared a nationwide emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. State-by-state, governors and local elected officials have shuttered non-essential businesses and asked residents to “flatten the curve” by staying at home, exercising
social distancing, and utilizing thorough cleaning methods to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.
However, the men and women who protect our nation’s travelers and transportation workers have remained on the job, ensuring that first responders, health professionals, and all others who must travel can do so safely. While the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) has implemented several mitigation efforts including the distribution of personal protective equipment, the nature of TSA responsibilities requires that many employees come in close contact with the public. Unfortunately, more than 450 TSA employees
have tested positive for COVID-19, and tragically, 4 Transportation Security Officers have died as a result of the virus.
As we continue to work to protect federal workers to the greatest extent possible, we must also take immediate action to ensure those affected will be compensated appropriately. Currently, if a TSA employee files a claim for workers’ compensation, the onus
is on the employee to prove the injury or sickness occurred at work. During this unprecedented time, if a TSA employee contracts the virus, it is reasonable to conclude that the exposure occurred while on duty.
The “Coronavirus Workers’ Compensation for TSA Employees Act” will ensure that TSA employees diagnosed with COVID-19—including Transportation Security Officers, Federal Air Marshals, canine handlers, and any other employee carrying out duties that require
substantial contact with the public—will be presumptively entitled to workers’ compensation. These workers continue to be there for our nation in the midst of this pandemic. We must continue to work on their behalf to ensure they are treated fairly and equitably.
I am asking that you would join me as a cosponsor of this legislation. Your support means much during these tough times.
Val Butler Demings
Member of Congress
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