For some, being considered a critical employee during the coronavirus outbreak means being able to continue earning a wage and putting food on the table; for all, though, working during the COVID-19 pandemic means putting one’s life at risk, and potentially the lives of loved ones, too. If you are an employee who is currently working or who has questions about your rights during this time, the employment law attorneys at the offices of McOmber McOmber & Luber want to help. Consider this general information about COVID-19 for employees, and please call our law offices directly if you have questions specific to your situation.
Reducing Transmission Among Employees: Best Practices
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidance and best practices for reducing the transmission of the coronavirus amongst employees. These best practices include, but are not limited to:
- Employees: Staying home if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.
- Employees: Continuing home isolation if you have symptoms of coronavirus until recommended (if you are retaliated against for staying home if you are sick, call an employment law attorney immediately).
- Employers: Separating employees who appear sick or become sick during the day and immediately sending these employees home;
- Employers: Educating employees about how they can reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Employers: Maintaining healthy business operations, including ensuring sick leave policies are consistent with public health guidance, maintaining flexible policies that allow workers to stay home if sick, not requiring a COVID-19 test or note from a healthcare provider for employees who want to stay home, and more.
Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If you are an employee, you have certain rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. These rights include, but are not limited to:
- Paid leave entitlements for certain eligible workers;
- Leave related to COVID-19 for qualifying reasons;
- Protection against discrimination, discharge, or discipline if you take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Relief and Benefits Available
In addition to the above, you may also be entitled to workers’ compensation insurance if you are injured at work or contract the virus while performing a work-related activity, disability insurance, and unemployment benefits. Congress has also passed a $2 trillion relief package that will provide $1,200 for those earning less than $75,000 per year, and $2,400 to partners filing jointly, plus an additional $500 per child.
How Our Employment Law Attorneys can Help
If you have questions about your rights as an employee during this difficult time, we urge you to reach out to our lawyers at the office of McOmber McOmber & Luber at your earliest convenience. We are working remotely right now and can advise you of your rights and options as an employee during this challenging time. Reach out to us by phone or online to get started – we offer free initial consultations.