Police union wants workers’ comp for officers with Zika

MIAMI (AP) — Police union officials want Florida lawmakers to extend workers’ compensation to first responders with Zika.

Florida Fraternal Order of Police President Bobby Jenkins said Tuesday that emergency responders should be covered if they contract an infectious disease while working.

The union says Miami Beach refused workers’ compensation for a police sergeant and another first responder for Zika infections apparently acquired from mosquito bites in part of the city identified as an active transmission zone.

Earlier this month, Miami Beach spokeswoman Tonya Daniels said city employees were offered free Zika testing and mosquito repellent. Workers’ compensation requires proof of Zika exposure while working, but Daniels said the city would honor any changes legislators made to the law.

Jenkins said the testing “does not mitigate the need for their coverage of the employees that they place at risk.”

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