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LA City Council Commits $50 Million To Aid Workers Afflicted By COVID-19

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to use $50 million of L.A.'s federal CARES Act funding to provide people with two weeks of pay if they are infected with COVID-19 and cannot work.

"Beating the COVID-19 pandemic means keeping folks at home when they're sick," Councilman David Ryu said. "But too many Los Angeles workers are being forced to decide between their paycheck and public health. We need a program that ensures all workers are able to stay home, no matter what work they do, their immigration status or their criminal record."

The proposed program would ensure that all workers, regardless of their employment or immigration status, are able to self-quarantine if they get sick.

Ryu and Council President Nury Martinez introduced the proposal in late July to assist low-income people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and cannot work. Martinez said she wants to focus particularly on getting assistance to low-income people infected by the virus who were left out of the first round of the CARES Act.

"Los Angeles is home to a large number of low-wage and undocumented workers who were denied access to CARES Act benefits and unemployment insurance assistance," Martinez stated in her motion. "Low-wage workers, such as housekeepers, gardeners, laborers, bus drivers and gig workers, worked long hours to make ends meet prior to the pandemic and continue to do so as the number of positive cases increase every day."

The council's action also requested that city staff on the Economic and Workforce Development Department and other city departments to report on the creation of a right-to-recover program and paycheck assistance program.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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