AM New York City Council introduces bundle of coronavirus relief bills during first virtual meeting by ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH
One bill in the package, introduced by Councilmembers Ben Kallos, Brad Lander and Speaker Johnson, proposes an expansion of “whistleblower” protections for essential workers from being fired without “just cause.”
In early April, Lawmakers planned to propose legislation to protect healthcare workers after reports of hospitals threatening to fire doctors and nurses for speaking out about personal protective equipment shortages. The legislation now protects any essential worker, like a healthcare or transit workers, and those working in any essential business like a grocery store, pharmacies, post offices or food bank.
“With the pandemic everything that is wrong with our society has been magnified,” said Councilmember Kallos. “ In many cases people who are saying that we don’t have the protection, you are sending us to war without any weapons, are being retaliated against…having these protections will mean that somebody doing the right thing is not going to lose their job.”