Proposed Pa. bill would ensure full pay for officers with COVID-19

Instead of using sick time or being placed on paid leave, officers would receive their full, regular pay

Rich Cholodofsky

HARRISBURG, Pa. — State Rep. Eric Nelson on Monday proposed an amendment to state law that will ensure police officers continue to be paid should they have to miss work because of the coronavirus.

Nelson, R-Hempfield, said the proposed legislation will expand the state’s Heart and Lung Act that requires certain emergency responders to collect the full amount of their regular pay when injured in the line of duty.

“In speaking with law enforcement officials, I was surprised to learn police officers are treated differently if they have to quarantine related to coronavirus,” Nelson said. “Some jurisdictions place officers on paid administrative leave, while others are required to use their personal sick time. This does not make sense. There should be a clear understandable process that is applied evenly for our vital law enforcement officers and first responders.”

Nelson said his proposal has bipartisan support in the state House and lists 59 cosponsors.

State Rep. Jim Rigby, R-Johnstown, a former police chief in Cambria County, signed on a co-sponsor of the bill.

“This bill is particularly important for these essential, life-sustaining public servants in rural areas of the Commonwealth,” said Rigby. “In many cases, these men and women are employed full time by one municipality and also work part time for neighboring municipalities. Our bill would ensure fair treatment for them as they put their lives on the line.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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