FROM April 13, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a procla­ma­tion today giving high-risk workers the right to protect themselves from COVID-19 without jeopar­dizing their employ­ment status or loss of income.

The procla­ma­tion provides older workers and those with under­lying health condi­tions a series of rights and protec­tions, including:

  • The choice of an alter­na­tive work assign­ment, including telework, alter­na­tive or remote work locations if feasible, and social distancing measures.
  • The ability to use any accrued leave or unemploy­ment benefits if an alter­na­tive work assign­ment is not feasible and the employee is unable to safely work. Employers must maintain health insur­ance benefits while high risk employees are off the job.
  • Employers are prohib­ited from perma­nently replacing high-risk employees.

I remain very concerned about at-risk popula­tions – older adults and people with under­lying health condi­tions,” Inslee said. This procla­ma­tion ensures vulner­able high-risk workers don’t have to endanger themselves for fear of losing their jobs or a paycheck.”

High-risk individ­uals are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Preven­tion (CDC) and specif­i­cally include:

  • 65 years of age or older; and
  • People of all ages with under­lying medical condi­tions, partic­u­larly if not well controlled.

Read the governor’s procla­ma­tion here.

If you have any questions regarding this infor­ma­tion, contact one of your Local Unit Officers or Terri Williams, MS, RN; WSNA Nurse Repre­sen­ta­tive

In Unity,

Gwen Parrick, BSN, RN; Chair
Jeremy Aaron, BSN, RN; Griev­ance Officer
Luka MacKay, BSN, RN; Secretary/​Treasurer