IMAM SUJONO & PARTNERS Blog COVID-19 Reshapes Employment Laws

COVID-19 Reshapes Employment Laws



By : Sidney L. Gold

 During these times of uncertainty in our country, many laws are changing and daily life that we once knew is currently on hold.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has required many employers to either close their offices or implement new rules during the work day to protect the health and safety of their staff. AlthoCan My Employer Fire Me for Having COVID-19?

Employers cannot fire you for contracting COVID-19. Congress has recently enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that gives sick leave to workers with COVID-19. This act also states that it is illegal for an employer to fire anyone who is sick or tries to access the benefits of this new leave act. Many employees have contacted their state government to report that they were fired for coughing on the job. This is illegal and is considered a discriminatory act.

In addition to this new law, the Family and Medical Leave Act would also protect sick employees from being fired from their job. Unfortunately, an employer can still terminate a worker due to the current COVID-19 situation due to the difficulty of maintaining their business.

Can My Employer Take My Temperature?

Your employer has the right to ask how you are feeling and to take your temperature upon entering the workplace. There are no laws or stipulations that prevent a boss from asking medical questions or executing temperature checks. This applies to current and prospective workers.

Is My Employer Required to Pay for Sanitation Supplies?

Yes, employers are obligated to provide their employees with supplies and personal protective equipment to keep their workers safe. Many employers are providing their staff with hand sanitizers and gloves to help increase proper sanitation and safety in the workplace. If possible, employers are encouraged to provide a work from home option for workers.

There are still many gray areas in how COVID-19 will affect employees and the rights they have during this time. If you were laid off, the new stimulus bill may help your financial situation, but there is no guarantee that an employee will receive it. It is also unclear if workers will be compensated for unused sick days and vacation time. Internal policies and government acts create a tricky situation when it comes to employment law. It is best to hire an employment lawyer if you are confused on which rights you have during this time.ugh many workers in the United States are currently working from home, there are still many employees that need to report to the office. The employees who are still going to work may not understand the rights they have during this time and how the COVID-19 could affect their daily routine.