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How COVID-19 Affects Employment Law

How COVID-19 Affects Employment Law

If you’re working during a global pandemic, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. If you were fired or laid off, you might be wondering what your rights are in this unprecedented situation.

While laws and regulations surrounding coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, are changing every day, the U.S. Department of Labor has compiled a useful set of resources for both workers and employers. Further, the state of Connecticut has put together a coronavirus portal to inform residents of local restrictions and the way the disease may affect their employment status and business operations.

Some of the most pertinent topics in these guides include:

  • Workplace safety
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Working from home
  • Paid time off (PTO)
  • Paid sick leave (PSL)
  • The family medical leave act (FMLA)
  • Disability insurance
  • Termination
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Business interruption insurance

As a personal injury firm, the Law Offices of Brian J. Mongelluzzo, LLC cannot help you with all of the concerns above, but we can provide some insight into a few key issues.

For help with workers’ compensation claims, for example, you can call us 24/7 at (203) 663-3695.

Workplace Safety

Your employer has a responsibility to keep you safe while you are at work. This duty of care applies all the time but is especially important during a pandemic. Because “business as usual” is not safe in Connecticut, many employers are allowing remote work to help keep their employees safe and adhere to the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order, which remains in effect until April 22, 2020.

Some “essential businesses,” however, still require employees to come into work. These employers should take extra precautions, like providing hand sanitizer and tissues to employees and making sure commonly used surfaces are disinfected. If you are exposed to COVID-19 at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, but this is not always the case.

If your employer is violating the state’s executive order, it may be worth speaking to one of our attorneys.

Workers’ Compensation

Whether or not you are eligible for workers’ compensation after testing positive for COVID-19 will depend on where you work and what kind of work you do. For instance, first responders and healthcare personnel are explicitly protected at the federal level under the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC), but other employees will have to adhere to state guidelines.

Unlike other state workers’ compensation agencies, the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission does not appear to have addressed COVID-19 claims, specifically, as of March 31, 2020.

Nevertheless, the situation is rapidly evolving, and our attorneys can help you understand the laws surrounding this complex issue.

Your Rights

Relief efforts at the state and federal levels may expand your rights as an employee at this time. Unfortunately, many businesses are struggling, and your employer may be unable to maintain your employment. Many workers are turning to unemployment insurance as a safety net but having this insurance as a fallback does not excuse inappropriate employer behavior.

If you believe you have been discriminated against or wrongfully terminated, or if your rights are being withheld, do not hesitate to contact our firm.

Insurance

Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mongelluzzo, LLC have plenty of experience working with insurance companies. As such, we may be able to help you with your COVID-19 insurance claim.

Need Legal Help?

We understand that everything may not be going according to plan during this period of fear and uncertainty. Nevertheless, we trust you when you say your rights as an employee have been violated, and we are here to help when benefits you are entitled to are being withheld.

Our firm is available 24/7 and operating according to our COVID-19 policy.

For a free case evaluation, please contact us at (203) 663-3695 or online.

We also encourage you to follow the hyperlinks throughout this blog and stay up to date with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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