Mayor calls for line-of-duty benefits for families of public employees killed by novel coronavirus

Cops from the PBA and LBA applaud medical professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus at Jamaica Hospital. (Photos courtesy of Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association)

Mayor Bill de Blasio called on Albany to authorize line-of-duty benefits for family members of public employees who have died as a result of the novel coronavirus during a press conference on Tuesday. 

“We’ll work with all of our partners in Albany to get this done, we will work with the City Council,” said de Blasio. “We need to take the weight off the shoulders of these families of these valiant New Yorkers, they need to know their future will be secure…we are going to do whatever it takes.”

A chorus of state and city lawmakers have joined in championing the passage of line-of-duty benefits including Republican Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, Assemblymembers Nick Perry, Karines Reyes,  Richard Gottfried, state Senators Andrew Goundardes and Diane Savino, Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. 

“First responders and their families have bravely answered the call to duty, exposing themselves to the grave dangers of this pandemic,” said Assemblymember Nick Perry. “We have an unquestionable duty to provide financial support to surviving families for the loss of their substantial breadwinner, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit to keep our city running.”

“Municipal employees, like our Corrections Officers and Correctional Staff, have been on the front lines on the fight against Coronavirus,” said Assemblyman David Weprin, in a statement. “There is no question that any COVID – 19 related deaths for these dedicated employees should be considered as occurring on the line-of-duty.”