The federal government has passed multiple bills that provide legal protections for workers who are affected by the coronavirus and its resulting disease, COVID-19. These laws are sometimes complex and unclear, and workers may need professional legal guidance. If you're a worker affected by COVID-19, here's when to contact a lawyer about employment issues.
You're Concerned About Personal Exposure at Work
If you're concerned about potential exposure to the coronavirus while at work, you may have some protections under federal law. The FLMA law offers protects workers who must leave their workplace due to COVID-19, but what exactly qualifies as being affected by the disease isn't always clear.
Specifically, it's not clear whether an employee who doesn't report to work because they're concerned about the possible risk of COVID-19 is protected under the law. While those who contract the disease are covered, those who are merely concerned about it may or may not receive protection.
Moreover, there are multiple factors besides the law's legal language to consider. For example, age, underlying health issues, and the nature of your work can all impact your risk exposure. Depending on these factors, you may or may not receive protection.
A lawyer who specializes in COVID-19 legal matters can help you decipher what protections you have if you're concerned about exposure to the disease through your work. The lawyer can let you know whether you are protected, and they can also help you build your case if you need to.
Your Employer Misclassifies Themselves
In many states and cities, non-essential businesses may have government orders to shut down. Some businesses that should be non-essential, however, might try to claim that they are essential so they can remain open. If your business does this, you may be required by your employer to report to work.
If you believe your employer has incorrectly classified the company as an essential business when the business should be non-essential, speak with a COVID-19 lawyer. The lawyer will know how to address the issue if you're right and the employer should be shut down.
Your Employer Requires You to Work While Sick
Everyone who contracts COVID-19 is protected under the FLMA. The protections include a guarantee that you won't lose your job while you take time off to recover. If your employer denies you time off while you're ill, contact a COVID-19 medical leave lawyer immediately so that you can stay home.