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Know Your Rights: COVID-19 FAQs For Employees

covid unemploymentDuring these challenging and unparalleled times we have compiled a set of resources to support you. In an effort to keep you well informed, this page will be updated regularly throughout this global crisis.

Can my employer fire me if I get coronavirus?

  • Your employer cannot fire you if you test positive for COVID-19. Negative actions cannot be taken against you if you have been medically diagnosed with COVID-19 or if you are instructed to self-quarantine by a medical professional. There are several federal and state laws in place that protect you as an employee.

Can my employer give me less hours because I am Asian or from another country?

  • An employer cannot treat you differently because of your race, ethnicity, or national origin. Examples of this can include cutting your hours and/or firing, making comments about you or your background.

Am I allowed to take time off if I get coronavirus and does my employer have to pay me?

  • Under the Families First Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Act (FFCRA), you are entitled to 2 weeks of paid sick days if your employer has fewer than 500 employees. In some cities throughout California, your employer is required to provide you an additional 2 weeks of paid sick leave for any coronavirus related injury or illness if they have more than 500 employees. Contact us now if you believe you have been wrongfully denied paid leave.
  • Additionally, through the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) you may qualify to take an additional 12 weeks of unpaid leave. In order to qualify, you must have worked at your current place of employment for at least one year, and also have worked a minimum of 1250 hours throughout the year prior to your leave. Lastly, you must be working for an employer with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of your worksite.

Does my employer have to provide masks (aka personal protective equipment or PPE)?

  • Your employer is required to provide a safe and healthy working environment for all of its employees. Your employer is required to take proper precautions to protect you from COVID-19 which includes providing and paying for their employee’s PPE. If you purchase your own PPE because you are not provided any at your workplace, your employer must ensure that the equipment is adequate to protect from hazards in the workplace and must reimburse you for the expense. Contact us now if you believe your employer has failed to provide you with adequate PPE.

What do I do if my employer has not implemented any safety precautions at work, but is still requiring me to go?

  • You have the legal right to lodge a complaint with your supervisor about their failure to provide adequate PPE and a safe work environment. California law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for reporting or complaining about safety and health regulations the employer is supposed to comply with.

Do I still get paid if I work from home?

  • Whether you are working from home or on-site, your employer is required to pay you for any hours worked.

Does my employer have to tell me if someone at work got COVID-19?

  • An employer should notify their employees if a co-worker or visitor has tested positive for coronavirus without disclosing the identity of the individual(s).

Do I still get paid premiums and over time when I work from home?

  • Assuming you are an hourly employee, your employer is required to pay you over time whenever you work more than 8 hours a day. Despite working from home, you should still continue to take your meal breaks; as well as, your rest breaks.
Employment Law Blog

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