covid 19MARYVILLE – To protect workers’ rights, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) supported a legislative package to expand protections for employees who are working during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was signed into law by the governor Friday.

“For the unique circumstances workers are enduring on a daily basis, it’s crucial to increase security for them and their families,” Crowe said. “By expanding protections, Illinois shows its commitment to the safety and well-being of its essential workers tolerating the unfavorable conditions in the interest of public health.”

Senate Bill 471 expands disability benefits for some frontline state employees, allows horse racetrack casino, or racino, employees to organize and protects retail workers from assault.

Certain state employees, including firefighters, law enforcement and other members of the public sector, are eligible for an additional 60 days of paid disability leave if their injury recovery has been hindered by difficulties accessing treatment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Racino employees would also have the opportunity to engage in collective bargaining as a requirement for any horse racetrack with more than 10 employees that wants to expand to include a casino.

“Although previously left out of coverage, employees at horse racetracks, like those at Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville, now have protected collective bargaining rights to have a say in their working conditions, benefits and other issues,” Crowe said.

To recognize the enhanced roles being asked of retail workers, battery of a retail worker would be enhanced to aggravated battery if the worker was performing duties that may include relaying directions for health care or safety, or during a declared disaster or state of emergency due to a public health emergency and for six months after either declaration.

Senate Bill 471 is effective immediately.

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District Offices
35 Executive Plaza Court
Maryville, IL 62062
(618) 251-9840 P

111 N. Wood River Ave., Suite A
Wood River, IL 62095
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(618) 251-9840 P

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311B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5247 P

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