Bill Text: IA SF471 | 2021-2022 | 89th General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: A bill for an act relating to occupational safety and health standards, employment matters, reporting requirements, and civil liability concerning COVID-19, providing penalties and remedies, and including effective date provisions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 18-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2021-03-02 - Subcommittee: Schultz, Boulton, and Whiting. S.J. 497. [SF471 Detail]

Download: Iowa-2021-SF471-Introduced.html
Senate File 471 - Introduced SENATE FILE 471 BY BOULTON , KINNEY , DOTZLER , J. SMITH , TRONE GARRIOTT , GIDDENS , T. TAYLOR , BISIGNANO , BOLKCOM , JOCHUM , CELSI , PETERSEN , MATHIS , QUIRMBACH , LYKAM , RAGAN , WAHLS , and HOGG A BILL FOR An Act relating to occupational safety and health standards, 1 employment matters, reporting requirements, and civil 2 liability concerning COVID-19, providing penalties and 3 remedies, and including effective date provisions. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 5 TLSB 2518XS (5) 89 je/rn
S.F. 471 Section 1. Section 88.3, subsection 3, Code 2021, is amended 1 to read as follows: 2 3. “Emergency temporary standards” means any occupational 3 safety and health standard or modification thereof which 4 has been adopted and promulgated by a nationally recognized 5 standards-producing organization under procedures whereby it 6 can be determined by the commissioner that persons interested 7 and affected by the scope or provisions of the standard 8 have reached substantial agreement on its adoption, and was 9 formulated in a manner which afforded an opportunity for 10 diverse views to be considered or is an emergency temporary 11 standard provided by the secretary pursuant to and in 12 conformance with the provisions of the federal law. “Emergency 13 temporary standards” includes guidance related to COVID-19, as 14 defined in section 94.1, provided by the centers for disease 15 control and prevention of the federal department of health and 16 human services or by the federal occupational safety and health 17 administration. 18 Sec. 2. Section 88.5, subsection 5, Code 2021, is amended 19 to read as follows: 20 5. Emergency temporary standards. The commissioner shall 21 provide for an emergency temporary standard to take immediate 22 effect if the commissioner determines that employees are 23 exposed to COVID-19, as defined in section 94.1, or are 24 exposed to grave danger from exposure from substances or agents 25 determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new 26 hazards and if such emergency temporary standard is necessary 27 to protect the employees from such danger. Such emergency 28 standard shall cease to be effective and shall no longer 29 be applicable after the lapse of six months following the 30 effective date thereof unless the commissioner has initiated 31 the procedures provided for under this chapter , for the purpose 32 of promulgating a permanent standard as provided in subsection 33 1 of this section in which case the emergency temporary 34 standard will remain in effect until the permanent standard is 35 -1- LSB 2518XS (5) 89 je/rn 1/ 5
S.F. 471 adopted and becomes effective. Abandonment of the procedure 1 for such promulgation by the commissioner shall terminate the 2 effectiveness and applicability of the emergency temporary 3 standard. 4 Sec. 3. NEW SECTION . 94.1 Definitions. 5 As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise 6 requires: 7 1. “COVID-19” means the novel coronavirus identified 8 as SARS-CoV-2, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus 9 SARS-CoV-2 or a virus mutating therefrom, and conditions 10 associated with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus 11 SARS-CoV-2 or a virus mutating therefrom. 12 2. “Employee” means a natural person who is employed in this 13 state for wages by an employer. 14 3. “Employer” means a person, as defined in chapter 4, who 15 in this state employs for wages a natural person. 16 Sec. 4. NEW SECTION . 94.2 Employee reporting of COVID-19 —— 17 right to avoid exposure. 18 1. An employer shall not discharge or in any manner 19 discriminate against an employee because the employee has 20 filed a complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted a 21 proceeding under or related to any condition of employment 22 that the employee believes to pose an undue risk of a COVID-19 23 infection or has testified or is about to testify in any such 24 proceeding or because of the exercise by the employee on behalf 25 of the employee or others of a right afforded by this chapter. 26 2. An employer shall not discharge or in any manner 27 discriminate against an employee because the employee, with no 28 reasonable alternative, refuses in good faith to be exposed to 29 COVID-19, provided that all of the following apply: 30 a. The employee, where possible, has first sought a 31 correction of the dangerous condition through resort to 32 regular statutory enforcement channels, unless there has been 33 insufficient time due to the urgency of the situation. 34 b. The employee has sought a correction of the dangerous 35 -2- LSB 2518XS (5) 89 je/rn 2/ 5
S.F. 471 condition from the employer and been unable to obtain such a 1 correction. 2 Sec. 5. NEW SECTION . 94.3 Mandatory employer reporting —— 3 confidentiality. 4 1. An employer shall do all of the following: 5 a. Report every positive case of COVID-19 of an employee 6 to all other employees who work on the premises and all other 7 individuals directly or indirectly invited onto the premises. 8 b. Report every positive case of COVID-19 of an employee to 9 the local health department and the Iowa department of public 10 health. 11 2. Reports pursuant to this section shall not include 12 identifying information about an employee. Reports pursuant 13 to this section shall not include health information about an 14 employee except as specifically provided in subsection 1. 15 Sec. 6. NEW SECTION . 94.4 Mandatory school reporting. 16 A school district or accredited nonpublic school shall 17 report every student’s positive case of COVID-19 to the local 18 health department and the Iowa department of public health. 19 Any records provided by a school district or accredited 20 nonpublic school pursuant to this subsection shall be kept 21 confidential and shall not contain any personally identifying 22 information. 23 Sec. 7. NEW SECTION . 94.5 Civil penalty. 24 An employer violating section 94.2 or 94.3 shall be assessed 25 a civil penalty of one thousand dollars per violation and, if 26 applicable, shall reinstate the employee with back pay, pay 27 the employee front pay equal to the total amount of back pay, 28 and reimburse the employee for the employee’s court costs and 29 attorney fees. 30 Sec. 8. REPEAL. Chapter 686D, Code 2021, is repealed. 31 Sec. 9. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act, being deemed of immediate 32 importance, takes effect upon enactment. 33 EXPLANATION 34 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 35 -3- LSB 2518XS (5) 89 je/rn 3/ 5
S.F. 471 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 1 This bill requires the labor commissioner to provide for 2 emergency temporary standards for occupational safety and 3 health if the commissioner determines that employees are 4 exposed to COVID-19. 5 The bill prohibits an employer from discharging or in any 6 manner discriminating against an employee because the employee 7 has filed a complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted 8 a proceeding under or related to any condition of employment 9 that the employee believes to pose an undue risk of a COVID-19 10 infection or has testified or is about to testify in any such 11 proceeding or because of the exercise by the employee on behalf 12 of the employee or others of a right afforded by the bill. 13 The bill prohibits an employer from discharging or in any 14 manner discriminating against an employee because the employee, 15 with no reasonable alternative, refuses in good faith to 16 be exposed to COVID-19. The bill requires an employee to 17 first seek a correction to a dangerous condition in certain 18 circumstances. 19 The bill requires an employer to report every positive case 20 of COVID-19 of an employee to all other employees who work on 21 the premises, all other individuals directly or indirectly 22 invited onto the premises, the local health department, and 23 the Iowa department of public health. Such reports shall not 24 include identifying information about an employee or health 25 information not required by the bill. 26 An employer violating the applicable requirements of the 27 bill shall be assessed a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation 28 and, if applicable, shall reinstate the employee with back pay, 29 pay the employee front pay equal to the total amount of back 30 pay, and reimburse the employee for the employee’s court costs 31 and attorney fees. 32 The bill requires a school district or accredited nonpublic 33 school to report every positive case of COVID-19 of a student 34 to the local health department and the Iowa department of 35 -4- LSB 2518XS (5) 89 je/rn 4/ 5
S.F. 471 public health. 1 The bill repeals Code chapter 686D, which provides standards 2 for civil liability relating to COVID-19 for premises owners; 3 health care providers; persons who design, manufacture, label, 4 sell, distribute, or donate certain materials relating to 5 COVID-19; and persons generally. 6 The bill takes effect upon enactment. 7 -5- LSB 2518XS (5) 89 je/rn 5/ 5
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