NEW LAW PROVIDES LINE-OF-DUTY DEATH BENEFITS FOR NEW YORK PUBLIC EMPLOYEES WHO DIE OF COVID-19
On Saturday, May 30th, New York Governor Cuomo signed into law new legislation to support the families of public employees who have lost their lives to COVID-19 by providing "line-of-duty" benefits.
This legislation, which was sponsored by State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Peter Abbate, will establish a COVID-19 pension benefit for families of public employees who die due to their workplace exposure to the disease. Where a member of a public retirement system was required to physically report to work, did in fact physically report to work as of March 1, 2020, contracted COVID-19 within 45 days of reporting to work, and COVID-19 caused or contributed to the member's death, the member's beneficiary will receive accidental death benefits.
Nearly 300 public workers across New York have died from the coronavirus over the last 10 weeks, including a number of CWA members. Before this legislation, the cost of providing these benefits is a very small price to pay for the sacrifices made by these brave city workers.