Congressmembers Introduce Presumption Legislation For TSA Officers

06 May, 2020 Liz Carey


Washington, D.C. ( – Three members of the House Homeland Security Committee have introduced legislation that will presume a positive coronavirus test in TSA officers would be a workplace illness, making them eligible for workers’ compensation.

The legislation is part of three bills the lawmakers said they would be introducing to protect Transportation Security Administration employees working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lawmakers, Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) Homeland Security Committee Transportation and Maritime Subcommittee Chairman, Dina Titus (D-NV) and Val Demings (D-FL), met with Everett Kelley, president and CEO of the American Federation of Government Employees during a virtual roundtable last week about the effect of the pandemic on TSA officers at the nation’s airports last week.

As of April 31, nearly 500 TSA officers had tested positive for the coronavirus. Initially, the union recommended against workplace protection equipment, but later changed its mind and opted to provide masks for its frontline workers.

Now the union is asking Congress for three things: hazard pay for its frontline staff; a presumption that if an officer contracts COVID-19 it was from their workplace, and a requirement from the federal government that airline passengers must wear masks in order to enter security areas for screening.

“We’ve heard concerns from TSOs that many passengers coming through the security line are still not wearing masks, threatening the health of TSOs,” said Kelley. “This will become an even greater problem when higher travel volume resumes. TSA should require all passengers to wear a mask in order to enter the security process.” 

The representatives are also expected to introduce bills to provide hazardous duty pay for frontline TSA workers and to restore the full federal share of the healthcare premium to part-time TSA officers.


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    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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