It’s no secret that the spread of the coronavirus throughout the world has taken a toll on the United States and world economy. Businesses are closing rapidly. Many of us are in the same financial situation, and you may wonder what a few of the steps you should take regarding your financial situation are.
Greenville, South Carolina attorney Angela Frazier answers some of your questions regarding job loss in this article, and to inform you of what your legal rights are in this challenging situation.
FAQ’s About Your Job and COVID-19
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions our office has received regarding our client’s jobs and the COVID-19 virus.
Can My Employer Call My Doctor to Find Out if I Have COVID-19?
No! Your employer cannot contact your doctor to find out if you have coronavirus or any other illness. Additionally, your doctor must adhere to your patient-doctor confidentiality laws that are already in place, and your employer can’t violate your legal rights – even during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Your employer may ask that you give them access to your medical files to keep your work environment safe for everyone, but you have the right to refuse them access to your medical records.
Does My Employer Have to Pay Me if They Close Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic?
The short answer is no. Your employer is not obligated to pay you or any of their employees for the time you are not working. However, if you are laid off or fired, your employer must pay you for any sick days or vacation time you are owed.
While this pandemic is going on, many employers are trying to keep their employees working or receiving some income. However, if your employer is unable to do so, they have no legal obligation to do so under the law.
Can I Collect Unemployment During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Yes. If you were laid off or terminated due to the coronavirus pandemic, you are eligible to collect unemployment.
Can My Employer Request that I Take A Vacation Day and Receive a Pay Cut Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Yes, they can, but it all depends on how they do it.
During the pandemic, it may not be easy for your employer to maintain their staff and keep you and everyone else working. Your employer has the right to ask you to take a day off and receive reduced pay to keep people working.
However, this action can turn illegal if your employer only offers this plan to individual employees. As an example, if your employer asked that only women and disabled workers take time off, this action would be considered illegal. It is only legal if it’s done in an equal and equitable fashion.
Are Medical Industry Workers Entitled to Hazard Pay?
If you are a medical worker during the pandemic, we’re sure you are feeling the stress of having to work long hours and face being exposed to coronavirus. We hope the organization you are employed by are doing everything they can to make you feel your efforts are appreciated by paying you extra for overtime as well as compensating you for the risks you are taking.
Can My Employer Pick Specific People to Work From Home During the Pandemic?
Yes. Your employer, to stay open and their employees safe, may opt to allow as many employees as possible to work from home. However, depending on the business your employer engages in, some positions are better suited to work from home than others, and it makes sense to let those workers that are able to work from home.
Can My Employer Fire Me if I Stay Home to Avoid Getting COVID-19?
Many businesses are being ordered to shut down during the pandemic. If your company chooses to stay open despite shut down orders and forces you to come to work, you may decide not to do so, and you cannot be fired for disobeying your employer in this case.
However, if a shut-down order is in place, it’s up to your employer to choose who continues to work and who doesn’t. Furthermore, if you get sick and stay home, you cannot be fired, and you must be treated in the same way as you would be if you got ill under different circumstances.
Can I Get Fired If I’m Told to Work From Home But I Don’t Have the Resources?
If your employer is telling you to work from home, it’s up to your employer to provide you with the tools you need to accomplish this. Your employer may choose to provide you with those tools directly or reimburse you for the items you purchased to continue working.
What Guidelines Specify Which Employers Can Shut Down?
Federal and local guidelines are putting guidelines into place every day that determine which businesses are ordered to shut down. This may vary from state to state and even city to city, but in general, it mandates that companies who don’t provide emergency and essential services should be shut down.
Finding the Right New York Attorney to Protect Your Rights
If you or a loved one believes their rights may have been violated due to actions taken by your employer during this pandemic, you will need a reasonable attorney by your side. Greenville, South Carolina attorney, Angela Frazier can help. She has the experience you need to represent you in all work-related legal matters.
We are living in uncertain times, and if you feel your employer has taken actions that put your employment in jeopardy during this pandemic, you have the right to take legal action and Greenville, South Carolina lawyer, Angela Frazier is here to help.