SAINT PAUL – After the Minnesota House and Senate passed a bipartisan bill expanding workers’ compensation today for frontline workers helping Minnesotans during the COVID-19 crisis, healthcare workers praised the decision and spoke out about why it is so important for our state to care for those caring for us.
LaTanya Hughes, a home care worker from Minneapolis and Vice President of the Home Care sector of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, shared how important it is that tens of thousands of home care workers, mostly women and people of color, are included in this legislation.
“Home care workers across the state work every day to make sure seniors and people with disabilities are able to safely stay in their homes. But this means that those of us on the frontline of caring for Minnesotans who possibly have COVID-19 are taking increased risk to our health,” said Hughes. “I’m so thankful that our Union family fought to make sure we were included and proud that our elected leaders are passing this legislation. I am happy that Minnesota is a state that is making sure jobs done by women and people of color are included in these bills as we know that has not historically been the case. This fight shows that the labor movement in Minnesota believes every person – no matter our race, gender, job or zip code – deserves to be safe and protected.”
Kathy Meyer, a cook at the Crosby Regional Medical Center in northern Minnesota, praised the bipartisan nature of this bill that shows how serious Minnesota is about caring for frontline staff.
“I’m glad to see that taking care of the people who care for our loved ones is an issue we can come together on as we deal with this pandemic. If people in frontline jobs do get COVID-19 from our work, we shouldn’t have to worry about paying the bills or draining our sick time. Passing this bill with strong bipartisan support shows that in these moments we are able to put our differences aside and work to build One Minnesota,” said Meyer. “Every day healthcare workers, firefighters and first responders are putting the good of our community ahead of our own fears, and it is great to know that if someone does catch this virus that we as Minnesotans have said that they will get taken care of.”