The townhall allowed members to ask questions directly to Daniel Udoff, a labor attorney from the firm Kahn, Smith & Collins, who specializes in workers’ compensation claims. The conversation was robust and covered a number of topics but there were several key takeaways. Given the uniqueness of the moment and much of the uncertainty around the virus, collective action is one of the best strategies and the union can be workers’ best tool to protect themselves. Additionally, serious changes need to take place at the state level when the legislature reconvenes to ensure workers are protected and safe at their worksites.
Finally and perhaps most important is the need for documentation. Udoff stressed that documentation of the conditions of the work environment are important, particularly for those who are at worksites where state-mandated safety protocols are not being followed. If there is a workers’ compensation claim because a member gets the virus from work, clear documentation of the protocols that are mandated, in comparison with how the protocols are practiced will be important for members to have.