The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of people around the world, especially in the United States. In Washington State, it has led to the implementation of measures to keep people safe and reduce the spread of the virus. One of those measures is the designation of certain workers as “critical”. But what is a critical worker in Washington State?
Definition of a Critical Worker
A critical worker in Washington State is any worker who is essential for the functioning of the economy, social services, and health care system. This includes health care workers, first responders, grocery store workers, childcare providers, delivery personnel, and other critical workers.
Criteria for Determination
The Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) has established criteria for determining which workers are critical and which are not. These criteria include factors such as job function, industry sector, and the potential impact of the worker’s absence.
The OFM has identified six categories of critical workers in Washington State:
- Health care workers
- First responders
- Grocery store workers
- Child care providers
- Delivery personnel
- Other critical workers
Each of these categories has its own set of criteria for determining which workers are considered critical. For example, health care workers must have the necessary skills and expertise to provide essential health care services. First responders must have the necessary skills and expertise to respond to emergencies and provide essential services. Grocery store workers must be essential to the operation of a grocery store.
Rights and Benefits of Critical Workers
Critical workers in Washington State are entitled to certain rights and benefits. These include the right to:
- Safe working conditions
- Protection from discrimination
- Adequate compensation
- Access to emergency financial assistance
- Access to health care and mental health services
- Access to child care
Critical workers are also eligible for certain benefits such as hazard pay, paid sick leave, and extended unemployment benefits.
Critical workers in Washington State are essential for the functioning of the economy, social services, and health care system. The Washington State Office of Financial Management has identified six categories of critical workers and established criteria for determining which workers are considered critical. Critical workers are entitled to certain rights and benefits, including the right to safe working conditions, protection from discrimination, adequate compensation, and access to emergency financial assistance.