COVID-19 EMPLOYMENT FAQ
The Coronavirus outbreak has already affected millions of Americans. People are rushing to protect their children, relatives, and other loved ones from this relentless and deadly illness. The virus has wreaked unmitigated havoc on the American economy. Entire industries have been shut down because of it.
During this crisis, it is important for employers and employees to work toward mutually beneficial goals and to look out for each other’s interest. Most people get this and are making the necessary adjustments. Some are trying to take advantage of the crisis to deny employees their rights. If this has happened to you, then you must stand up for yourself. You can start by hiring an employment attorney in Los Angeles.
COVID-19 Employment FAQ
You never know how or when the virus will affect your family. When it does, you should be given what you need to care for your family. There are many scenarios that any individual or family could be confronted with. These are some of the frequently asked questions concerning COVID-19 and employment:
- Can a worker use the state’s paid sick leave if they fall ill?
Yes. Anyone who falls ill after contracting COVID-19 must be granted sick leave in accordance with California leave laws. These laws stipulate that an employee must be granted paid sick leave owing to illness, treatment for an existing health condition, or to undergo preventative care. The last of these is especially relevant with the onset of COVID-19. In the current crisis, quarantining yourself is considered a form of preventative care. It is especially important to take these measures if you are in a highly affected area or you belong to a high-risk group.
- Can other paid leave be used?
If you have exhausted paid sick leave, it is possible to use your vacation time. You should also review your company’s other paid time off policies. Some companies allow for a leave of absence owing to unforeseen circumstances.
- What are my options if schools have closed?
The Governor of California has closed the state’s public schools. Many of the state’s private schools have also sent students home and closed their doors. Given the policies associated with social distancing, it is hard to arrange childcare. If you are a parent, then you will need to discuss your options with your employer. If your company has 25 or more employees, then they should offer up to 40 hours of leave per year for school-related emergencies. Your employer may require you to use your vacation time to care for your child. They may also allow you to take unpaid leave. However, they cannot force you to use paid sick leave.
- Can an employer require workers to disclose information about recent overseas travel?
Yes. Your employer can ask you whether you have been to one of the countries considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a high-risk area. However, you still retain the right to medical privacy. Your employer cannot ask you if you have contracted COVID-19 if you show no symptoms of the illness. And they must keep any information you have shared with them confidential.
- Am I entitled to compensation if I have been sent home from work?
Many companies are struggling to balance the need to keep their employees and clients safe and the need to keep operations going. If you reported to work and were subsequently sent home, then your company must compensate you for at least 2 hours of pay.
Preserving Your Rights
If you have been treated unfairly by your employer, then you should hire an employment attorney in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles workplace lawyer is the only professional qualified to help you navigate any legal action you might need to take against your company.
Many industries have been hit hard by the economic shutdown caused by COVID-19. If you are in the hospitality, airline, or retail industry, you may find yourself suddenly out of work and without any prospect of finding a new job. In this instance, the company is probably under as much financial strain as you and will need the help of the state and federal government to get through.
Any employee who was fired for refusing to work because of COVID-19 should contact a wrongful termination attorney Los Angeles. A wrongful termination attorney Los Angeles can help that worker get the compensation and restitution that they deserve.
The crisis has brought out the best and worst in people. There has been a great deal of reckless talk about the origins of COVID-19. Unfortunately, Asian Americans have been subjected to harassment and abuse owing to the virus’s association with China. If you are an Asian American who has been subjected to racist taunts in the workplace or have been asked inappropriate questions by your supervisors, then you can hold the company accountable. A Los Angeles workplace lawyer can also help you get compensated and reinstated if you have been unjustly transferred, demoted, or fired because you are Asian American and you have been stereotyped. It is wrong for you to be treated differently from others because of your ethnic heritage.
If your employer has done anything else that is contrary to California state law regarding unemployment, then you should contact a Los Angeles employment lawyer. A Los Angeles employment lawyer can help you get your final paycheck if you have been laid off. They can also help you negotiate a severance package.