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Brown: Don’t penalize sick workers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, joined a group of 14 senators in urging major U.S. employers to commit that workers will not be penalized for following recommended health procedures to protect the public from further spread of the coronavirus.

“As the United States mobilizes to respond to the recent outbreak and spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, we write to urge your member companies to prioritize their employees’ health, economic well-being, and security during this response,” the senators wrote  in a letter to major industry groups.  “The companies you represent are some of the largest, most high profile companies in the United States.  The broader business community watches their actions closely and we believe they have an opportunity, and an obligation, to lead in this moment.”

The senators said no workers should be penalized or put in financial duress for following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

“To that end, we encourage your member companies to commit to ensure that any employees or contractors who follow novel coronavirus-related guidance from public health authorities can count on basic protections like preservation of their employment status and basic financial forbearance,” they wrote.