The coronavirus has changed the world as we know it. We are being asked to stay away from friends and relatives and to avoid leaving our homes. Businesses are being ordered to shut down, making for a loss of income for many workers.
If you are a worker that has been temporarily or permanently displaced due to the coronavirus, you probably have many questions. The David Aylor team has the answers you need. Read on to find out more.
Can My Employer Contact my Doctor to Find Out if I Have the Coronavirus?
No. Every patient and doctor have a confidentiality agreement. If your employer asks for information on your medical records, it is considered to be an attempt to violate that agreement, which is unethical. In any case, your doctor would not be able to provide your employer with that information due to the deal you have in place.
Do Employers Have to Pay You If They Are Forced to Close?
If your employer is forced to close their business due to the coronavirus, they do not have to pay you. However, you will be entitled to collect any income you have coming to you for sick days and vacation days.
Can I Collect Unemployment If I Am Fired or Laid Off During the Coronavirus?
Yes, displaced workers may collect unemployment as long as they have accrued working hours and have an immigration status that allows them to work in the United States. You may apply for unemployment on the EDD web site.
Is it Legal for Employers to Ask Employees to Take Vacation Days and Receive Pay Cuts During the Coronavirus?
Yes, employers may ask employees to take time off or accept pay cuts to help take some of the financial burdens off their shoulders.
However, requests must be made to the entire staff. If the employer singles out individual employees and makes these offers to them based on their sex, gender, cultural background, job performance, or any other non-relevant factors, it can be seen as an act of discrimination, and employees may file a complaint against them.
Are Workers in the Medical Industry Entitled to Hazard Pay?
Right now, medical workers are putting their lives on the line by coming into work to care for people that are infected with the coronavirus. Hopefully, their employers are compensating them for the risk they are taking by paying them for overtime and adding hazard pay to their paychecks.
Can an Employer Pick Certain People to Stay Home from Work?
Employers may pick certain people to stay home from work. However, this choice must be made based on their job duties only. If a worker has a job that includes tasks that can be performed from home, that employee may be asked to stay home to minimize risk. Workers that need to be present to do their jobs may still be required to come in.
However, if employers choose workers to stay home due to their ethnicities, gender, cultural background, or work performance, this will be seen as discrimination, and employees may act accordingly by filing complaints against them.
If I Stay Home from Work to Avoid Getting Sick, Can I Be Fired?
If you work for a non-essential company that has been ordered to shut down and your employer is insisting on staying open, you can refuse to continue working for them during the shutdown, and they are not legally allowed to fire you. On the other hand, if you are working for an essential company that is allowed to stay open and you refuse to work because you don’t want to get sick, your employer is within their rights to fire you.
What If I Am Asked to Work from Home, and I Don’t Have the Resources to Do So?
If your employer is asking you to work from home, it is up to them to provide you with the resources you need to do so. They can also compensate you for any resources you purchase on your own.
What Guidelines Are Put in Place Regarding What Businesses Must Shut Down and What Businesses Can Stay Open?
Guidelines for shutdowns vary from state to state and city to city, but in general, businesses that provide essential services are permitted to stay open. All other companies have been ordered to shut down.
If I Own a Small Company That Employs Five Workers or Less, Am I Required to Pay Them During the Shutdown?
No. The number of employees you hire does not play a factor. No matter how many employees you have, you are not required to pay them during the shutdown. Displaced workers may apply for unemployment to make up for any lost income.
Finding the Right Lawyer to Defend Your Rights
If you are out of work due to the shutdown and you feel your employer may have taken actions that violate your rights, you can consult a lawyer to get the answers you need. If you are looking for a lawyer in the Charleston, SC area, the David Aylor team is one you can trust.
David Aylor is a people’s attorney with extensive experience representing clients in work-related cases. He treats all his clients with the care and respect they deserve. He will work tirelessly to see to it that justice is served.
These are uncertain times. Don’t let your finances be another unknown. Talk to David Aylor for the answers you need and the experience you can count on.