Connecticut governor Ned Lamont has issued an executive order classifying the contraction of COVID-19 as a work-related illness, and therefore a qualifying reason to collect workers’ compensation. The victory follows a dedicated campaign by Ginny Legi, an eight-year corrections officer and by AFSCME Local members to convince the governor to enact the legislation.
Ligi contracted COVID-19 in April, and after returning to work discovered that her workers’ compensation claim had been denied. Connecticut’s coverage at the time required that employees be able to prove an illness or injury occurred at the workplace, but pinpointing the moment of contact with the coronavirus is next to impossible.
“We know that by going to work, we put our loved ones at risk. That weighs heavily on us,” said Ligi, who is married and is the mother of three young children. “The governor’s executive order will bring some relief, because COVID-19 remains a threat to front-line workers everywhere – whether you’re a correction officer like me, or a grocery store clerk, a bus driver or a hospital nurse.”
Commenting on the importance of the union efforts to get the executive order passed, she added “Great things can happen when workers join up and speak out together. Our voice is more powerful.”
Read more about the victory here.