Q: I was hired by a company a couple months ago, can they fire me due to COVID?
I was hired by a company and I’ve been working for a couple months, I started experiencing Covid symptoms, I had to get tested because a person in my household works at a nursing home and if anyone she’s around experiences symptoms they must be tested before she can return to work, this company is making me take personal time to get tested, I haven’t been working their long so I don’t have enough time saved up to wait for the results. Can they fire me for this?
A: No, your employer cannot fire you. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides employees, who work for employers with less than 500 employees, up to two weeks (or 80 hours) of sick leave paid at employees' regular pay rate if those employees are unable to work because they are quarantined pursuant to doctors' advice or a government order. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act also provides employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms who are seeking medical diagnosis with up to two weeks (or 80 hours) of sick leave.
Employees are entitled to paid sick time under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act if they are unable to work (or telework) because they
-are required by some governmental order to quarantine or isolate for COVID-19;
-have been told by a doctor or other healthcare provider to self-quarantine as a result of COVID-19;
-are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
-are caring for an individual (i) subject to such a governmental order described above, or (ii) self-quarantining as described above;
-are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed as a result of COVID-19; or
are experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
Good luck and hopefully everything will work out. If you have any difficulty, though, you should reach out to an employment lawyer licensed in your state.
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