I recently read an article in the New Jersey Law Journal – ‘Families First’ Law Gets Test in Lawsuit Over Paid Leave for COVID-19 Self-Quarantine. In this lawsuit, an employee claims that an employer violated the Families First Coronavirus Response Act by not paying him leave after a doctor ordered him to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 symptoms.
The merits and facts of this particular case are in question. However, what is not a question is that employees have special rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Another name for the ACT is FFCRA. Under FFCRA, quarantined employees have the right to receive sick pay. Same holds true if they are waiting on COVID-19 test results. Additionally, under FFCRA, employees are entitled to sick pay when caring for a family member under quarantine or a child without school or daycare.
Employers Must Comply
These are confusing times for all. Most employers are doing their best to remain in business. I imagine that they are also trying to figure out what is required under FFCRA and other employment laws. That said, sometimes employers’ best intentions still leave employees in a lurch.
And, as history has shown us, there are employers who do not act with the best of intentions of their employees. As an employee, you have rights. Your employer needs to follow the law and needs to treat you within the confines of the law. With massive job losses, the rights of employees may be more important now than ever. The prediction is that the coronavirus, combined with these job losses, will create a dramatic increase in employment litigation.
If you feel that you are entitled to paid leave for COVID-19 under FFCRA that were denied by your employers, please call me. Likewise, I am ready to help you with other employment law matters including discrimination harassment, retaliation, and other employment-related disputes.