Rep. Norcross Votes to Support Injured and Sick Federal Firefighters
Today, Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), who serves on the Workforce Protections Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee, voted to pass the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022, which would strengthen access to workers’ compensation benefits for federal firefighters, including those in New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District, who become injured or ill on the job.
“Firefighters are routinely exposed to hazardous environments while doing their jobs. They put their health on the line every time they respond to a fire,” said Congressman Norcross. “Unfortunately, firefighters employed by the federal government don’t always receive the medical help they need when they’re injured or made ill from doing their jobs. That’s not right. This legislation will secure workers’ compensation benefits for federal firefighters, ensuring that the brave men and women who keep our communities safe get the support they deserve.”
Firefighters are at high risk of contracting occupational illnesses because of routine exposure to smoke, heat, stress, toxic substances, and other work-related hazards. Most states provide firefighters who seek workers’ compensation benefits for work-related illness and injury with the presumption that certain diseases are work-related.
Unfortunately, the roughly 15,000 firefighters employed by the federal government are covered by a system that is poorly designed to provide benefits for occupational disease caused by exposure to toxic substances. This leaves federal firefighters and their families without the workers’ compensation protections that they deserve and that firefighters across the country are already guaranteed.
The Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022 would make it easier for federal firefighters to secure workers’ compensation benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act by, among other actions, providing a science-based presumption that certain illnesses should be deemed work-related.
Read the fact sheet of the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022 here.
Read the section-by-section of the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022 here.