“It is up to the government to determine the number of workers who are not returning due to the long duration of COVID and the cost to the state of these absences, as well as how we can protect them and ensure that these employees are progressing,” said Senator Brad. Hoylman (D-Manhattan) told the Post.
The coronavirus can cause a range of long-term symptoms such as chronic fatigue, sleep problems, heart problems, shortness of breath and brain fog that makes mental tasks difficult, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
A August study by the Brookings Institute found that about 16 million American adults suffer from such an affliction, with about $170 billion in lost wages among the millions of them who are out of work.
Hoylman said the matter was personal to him after his own recovery from COVID-19.
“I know friends and family members who are suffering from long COVID who struggled to return to work and had their lives cut short while the rest of us recovered,” Hoylman said.
He added that he aims to pass the legislation, which currently has no sponsor in the Assembly, once state lawmakers return to Albany next month for their regular session.
If the bill ever passes into law, the state Department of Labor would have one year to prepare a report on the scope of the problem and potential solutions, according to legislative language.