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Rich Marcolus Testifies in Support of Cost Of Living Increase for Essential Workers


Levinson Axelrod, P.A. Partner Rich Marcolus is continuing his fight to support legislation that protects front line workers, and their families, who’ve braved great risks to provide essential services during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, June 11, 2020, Rich appeared before a Senate Committee to testify in support of Senate Bill 2476, a measure that would create a Cost of Living increase for dependents of Essential Workers who die as a result of the coronavirus.

Without this legislation, a dependent entitled to death benefits receives 70% of their loved one’s wages – an amount that is essentially frozen and never adjusted for as long as benefits are received. This means $500 per week in death benefits will never increase, despite inflation and cost of living increases for every aspect of the dependent’s life.

This Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) proposed under SB 2476 is designed to mirror benefits for dependents of public safety workers killed in the line of duty, and would ensure dependents continue to live in a manner similar to what they were accustomed to while their family member was working. The increase would be tied to the average cost of living increase as established by the State of New Jersey.

SB 2476 is one of several proposed and pending measures that aims to better support Essential Workers and their families, and is crucial to families who’ve endured injuries, illness, and death as a result of working dangerous yet essential jobs – including the many essential jobs that have allowed our communities to function during these difficult times.

A Carpenter by trade, Partner Richard J. Marcolus knows what it is like to put one’s health and safety on the line in order to provide services essential to the community. In addition to representing injured workers and families at Levinson Axelrod, P.A., Rich has been actively involved in advocating for all workers and families, and lobbying lawmakers to do right by those who do so much for us.

You can read more about some of Rich’s recent legislative efforts here:

Have questions about workers’ compensation or workplace exposure and COVID-19? Call Levinson Axelrod, P.A. to speak with an attorney.

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