How the Federal Government Can Protect Essential Workers in the Fight Against Coronavirus
The longer the COVID-19 pandemic has continued, the clearer it has become that essential workers do not have the rights and protections they need and deserve. Too many essential workers—a term whose definition varies by location but includes millions of health care workers, as well as workers that ensure Americans can buy food and household items—do not have adequate safety gear, access to health care or paid family and medical leave, decent pay, or a strong voice at work to ensure fair treatment and compliance with existing standards.
These workers are making it possible for the country to continue to function during the crisis, yet they are not being treated with dignity and respect. Further, the country cannot effectively control the pandemic without taking actions to limit the number of essential workers who catch and spread COVID-19.
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Senior Fellow; Senior Adviser, American Worker Project
Sarah Jane Glynn
Principal, Prenatal to Five Fiscal Strategies; former director, Early Childhood Policy, Center for American Progress