During the coronavirus pandemic, there are a few classes of workers who are on the frontlines, including food service and grocery store workers, truck drivers, and workers in the transportation industry. Perhaps no class of employees is more affected by the coronavirus, though, than healthcare workers. Potentially exposed to dozens of patients who have coronavirus on a daily basis, healthcare workers are at severe risk of contracting the diseases; indeed, thousands of healthcare workers have already been infected by the disease, and some have died.
At the law office of McOmber McOmber & Luber, we want to say thank you to all essential workers right now, including the healthcare workers who are risking their own lives during this pandemic. If you need help seeking benefits or navigating your rights as an employee, our legal team can serve you.
Risks to and Fears of Healthcare Workers During COVID-19
Healthcare workers in our country are facing serious risks to their physical and mental health as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as anxieties about losing their jobs or being retaliated against by their employers. To be sure, an article published in TIME explains that while doctors and other healthcare professionals may be used to dealing with stressful and dynamic situations, the COVID-19 outbreak is unlike anything that most healthcare professionals have seen before. Fighting the battle against a deadly disease with no known cure has been physically exhausting, and mentally and emotionally taxing, too.
It is not just the stress of COVID that’s affecting healthcare workers, but also the fear of retaliation if they speak up about their trials. One healthcare employee told TIME that there is a “sinking feeling” associated with knowing that “the hospital let you down, and that the system let us down as doctors and didn’t protect us…”
The mental health effects of the coronavirus on healthcare professionals could be bleak. According to one study in JAMA that assessed the effects of healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 victims in China, half of workers reported symptoms of depression, nearly half reported symptoms of anxiety, just over a third reported insomnia, and two-thirds reported distress.
For some healthcare workers, there is also a fear of retaliation if they speak out about poor or unsafe conditions in healthcare facilities, feel uncomfortable performing a certain task, or take time away from work.
Our Employment Law Attorneys can Help
Our passionate employment law attorneys understand that we are living in an unprecedented time and that for all workers, especially those who are on the frontlines of this pandemic, anxiety, fear, and frustration are all very real. If you are a healthcare worker, we want to reassure you that you have certain rights during this time and that you cannot be retaliated against for filing a complaint. If you need legal counsel related to your rights as a healthcare worker in the wake of the coronavirus, our legal team at the office of McOmber McOmber & Luber can help. Please call our law office today to learn more about how we can serve you.