COVID-19 Employee Rights Lawyers
As cities and states around the U.S. opened their economies back up amid the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses brought employees back to work, back under the same roof in close quarters with other employees and customers. And, many essential employees, who have been working in precarious situations throughout the pandemic, continue to be at risk.
Employees who contract COVID-19 after coming back to work may have a valid legal claim against their employers. If you or a loved one contracted coronavirus after returning to work, it is a good idea to talk to a qualified employment law attorney who can assess the situation and help you understand if you may be entitled to any compensation.
The Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. is handling COVID-19 employment issues for clients in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Our attorneys are staying up to date on the constantly changing federal and state laws about workplace safety during the pandemic. We can help you explore all possible options for compensation if you were exposed to the virus at work. Contact our employment law attorneys to discuss your potential COVID claim.
Occupations Commonly at Risk of Catching COVID-19
Our clients include employees from many different walks of life whose jobs make them susceptible to virus exposure. For example, we represent:
- Health care workers such as nurses, doctors, dentists and therapists
- Social workers
- Office workers
- Flight attendants
- Restaurant/food service employees
- Retail store employees
- Bus drivers
- Bank tellers
- Firefighters and police officers
No matter what your occupation, if you are required to come into contact with other people on a regular basis, it is possible that you could contract the virus while at work.
What Types of COVID Employee Protections Are/Were Available?
Several federal COVID relief bills (such as the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act) have been enacted and then expired or extended since the pandemic began. These bills, along with their state counterparts, included various forms of employee protection, such as:
- The right to additional paid leave if the employee or a loved one contracted COVID.
- Expanded family and medical leave for parents whose children couldn’t go to school or to a childcare facility because of closures.
- Prohibiting companies from firing employees for taking COVID leave.
- Additional paid sick leave for employees who had COVID or needed to care for a family member who had the virus.
- Protecting the confidentiality of employees who contract COVID-19.
If your employer failed to provide the protections the law required, you should speak with our attorneys. Because these laws are changing all the time, your ability to bring a claim will depend greatly on timing – in other words, when you contracted the virus and what legal protections were effective at that time.
It can get complicated to sort through the details, so before drawing any conclusions or taking any action against your employer, be sure to consult with an attorney.
Businesses Are Required to Take Precautions to Protect Employees During the Crisis
State law and federal OSHA rules require businesses to take various steps to try to reduce the chances of employees contracting COVID-19. The rules vary by industry, but may include:
- Allowing employees to work from home whenever possible.
- Installing plexiglass barriers at counters and points of sale.
- Requiring employees and customers to wear masks.
- Social distancing between employees and customers.
- Restricting occupancy levels inside a store/building.
If your employer fails or refuses to take actions such as these, and you come down with coronavirus, you may have a valid claim against your employer. Your claim could be a workers’ compensation case or a personal injury case, depending on what you and your lawyer decide.
Schedule a Consultation with a COVID-19 Employment Law Attorney
Please contact the Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman, P.C. if you or a loved one contracted COVID-19 and you believe the exposure occurred at work. Reach us at 1-877-619-8966 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation. We serve clients in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio.