As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, some state lawmakers are hoping it doesn’t hurt you in the wallet.
Monday afternoon, Sen. Erin Oban and Rep. Karla Rose Hanson, both democrats, introduced what’s called the Emergency Paid Leave Fund.
If approved, the fund would use allocated funding from the CARES Act to assist workers who stay home when they are sick with COVID-19 or after they have been exposed.
The fund would use $20 million to pay workers through their employers while they are out.
Workers would be eligible for up to four weeks of pay with a cap of $1,500 per week.
The fund is expected to run through the end of the year, when CARES Act funds must be used up.
One of the bills sponsors say the fund is important because many people don’t get sick time from their employers.
“We believe that a paid leave program can help reduce the spread of infection and prevent outbreaks at places of work and schools and health care facilities,” said Rep. Karla Rose Hanson of Fargo.
The North Dakota Emergency Commission is expected to debate the plan at their next meeting on Aug. 3.
Both Sen. Oban and Rep. Hanson say they will introduce similar legislation in the upcoming session.
We reached out to the North Dakota GOP for comment on the proposal but did not get a response.