California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed two bills into law that are aimed at protecting workers from the coronavirus.

One of them makes people who have the coronavirus eligible for workers compensation benefits. Another requires companies to warn their employees if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus.

Business groups opposed both laws, calling them vague and unworkable. Newsom said Thursday that the laws prioritize the state’s workforce.

He signed them during a Zoom call with supporters. The workers compensation law takes effect immediately. The notification law takes effect on Jan. 1.

“Californians deserve to be able to take time off to care for themselves or a sick family member without fearing they’ll lose their job,” Newsom said in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only further revealed the need for a family leave policy that truly serves families and workers, especially those who keep our economy running. This bill will ensure almost all Californians can access the time off they need to keep themselves and their communities healthy.”


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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