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H.R. 6631: Essential Worker Protection Act of 2020

The text of the bill below is as of Apr 28, 2020 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. R. 6631


April 28, 2020

(for herself and Mr. Pappas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


To direct the Secretary of Labor to establish an interagency task force on worker protection from COVID–19, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Essential Worker Protection Act of 2020.


Interagency task force on worker protection from COVID–19


Task force

Not later than 1 month after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall convene an interagency task force—


to issue guidance with respect to the protection from occupational exposure to SARS–CoV–2 of covered employees; and


to take such steps as may be necessary to disseminate such guidance to such employees (and their employers), including by publication of such guidance on the public website of the Department of Labor.



The task force convened under subsection (a) shall be chaired by the Secretary of Labor and include the following members:


The Secretary of Commerce.


The Administrator of the Small Business Administration.


The Secretary of Health and Human Services.


The Commissioner of Food and Drugs.


The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The Secretary of Transportation.


The Secretary of Defense.


The Secretary of Homeland Security.


Any the head of any other Federal agency determined to be relevant by the Secretary of Labor.


Guidance contents

The guidance issued under subsection (a) shall include recommendations to employers of covered employees on the development and implementation of a comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plan that—


includes appropriate production schedules to follow the social distancing guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;


includes regular extensive deep cleaning of facilities and equipment between shifts; and


provides for education and training of such employees, and ensures that such employers are communicating information to employees in an appropriate and timely manner, particularly in cases in which an employee may have been exposed other individuals who have tested positive for COVID–19.



The guidance issued under subsection (a) shall—


be updated as necessary to keep covered employees apprised of the latest developments with respect to the prevention of the spread of COVID–19 until such time as—


there is a treatment or vaccine approved or licensed under section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355) or section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 262) for the treatment or prevention of COVID–19; and


such treatment or vaccine is widely available within the United States; and


be disseminated to covered employees (and their employers) as so updated, including through publication on the public website of the Department of Labor.


Covered employees defined

In this section, the term covered employees means employees (other than employees of health care sector employers) who have been identified as having an elevated risk of exposure to SARS–CoV–2 by the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary of Health and Human Services, including the following:


Grocery store employees.


First responders (including emergency medical system employees, firefighters, and law enforcement officials).


Manufacturers, including manufacturers of personal protective equipment.


Employees in the transportation industry.


9–1–1 call center operators.


Workers supporting the energy grid.




Employees in the hospitality industry.


Employees in the cybersecurity industry.


Mortuary service employees.


Employees working in or operating drinking water and wastewater facilities.


Employees of banks.