By now, it’s clear the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has changed the work situations for millions of people. At Harman Law, PLLC, we have a passion for ensuring that employees are treated fairly in the workplace, which is why we regularly represent employees who have been treated unlawfully, and why we advise employers on their obligations to employees under the law.
Several new laws have been enacted specific to COVID-19 and the workplace, and although a significant amount of information has been released about these laws, it can be challenging to sort through the various news sources to determine the most important details.
That’s why we have compiled a list of free resources to help people access answers to questions they may have, without having to pay to talk to an attorney. We hope these resources provide the guidance you need. However, if you still have concerns about your workplace rights, please feel free to contact us to see how we can help.
General COVID-19 Guidance
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? What steps can I take to prevent getting sick, and what do I do if I suspect I have been infected? It seems everyone has an opinion and it’s hard to keep the facts separated from the myths. The most credible source of information is still the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can get answers to several of the most frequently asked questions about coronavirus here:
You can also access valuable information about COVID-19 here: https://www.coronavirus.gov/
Wage and Hour Guidance
Do you have questions about whether or not you are entitled to your full pay if you are teleworking or working reduced hours? How about if your company has temporarily closed or requiring you to use your PTO time in order to keep getting paid? Here’s a list of frequently asked questions regarding compensation:
The Families First Coronavirus Response (“FFCRA”) Act (HR 6201 – SIGNED INTO LAW)
The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Check out the following resources for information about whether or not you may qualify for benefits under the FFCRA:
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
FAQs from the IRS: COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses
COVID-19 and the Americans With Disabilities Act
The EEOC enforces workplace anti-discrimination laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, including the requirement for reasonable accommodation and rules about medical examinations and inquiries. The EEOC issues some guidance on what you should know about the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19, which can be found here:
You’ve likely heard by now that North Carolina has expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits in response to COVID-19 to allow individuals to qualify for benefits who otherwise would not have been able to apply. At the same time, part of the CARES Act passed by the federal government provides additional unemployment compensation benefits due to COVID-19 above and beyond those provided by the state. But you may still have questions about what benefits you’re entitled to and how to apply. The following resources should answer most of the questions you have regarding unemployment insurance benefits.
General COVID-19: NC Unemployment Insurance Information
Unemployment Benefits Due to COVID-19 Tip Sheet
FAQ related to COVID-19 state unemployment insurance for employees
FAQ related to COVID-19 state unemployment insurance for employers
FAQ related to Federal Unemployment Assistance under the CARES Act