Workers' Rights During COVID-19
Unemployment law is primarily state-based, so individuals
will need to review the unemployment provisions in their own state to determine
eligibility. However, the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic
Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, provides enhancements to state unemployment benefits, if the state has entered into an
implementing agreement with the federal government.
Worker’s compensation law is primarily state-based, although most jurisdictions share certain common elements. The information below is general in nature and may not apply in every jurisdiction. Individuals must review the provisions in their own state to determine whether and to what extent this information is applicable to them.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires that employers with less than 500 employees provide two weeks (10 workdays) of emergency paid sick leave. However, employers with less than 50 workers may opt out, with Department of Labor (DOL) approval, if the sick leave payments “would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.” In other words, if the employer fears that paying the benefit would help drive it out of business, then it is exempt.
Learn about furlough, what happens if a social worker is quarantined or contracts COVID-19, COBRA Insurance during lay-off and special enrollment on federal exchange.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) provides a measure of protection for refusing to work in hazardous conditions.