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Leave Laws and Benefit Laws
Leave Laws and Benefit Laws

Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave

  • The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19;
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • The employee is caring for an individual who:
    • is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; or
    • has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19
  • The employee is caring for their child whose school or place of child care is closed or the child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions, or
  • The employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretaries of Treasury and Labor.

New Jersey Earned Sick Leave

  • Employee who has COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19
  • Employee is caring for a family member with COVID-19
  • Employee who cannot work due to school or daycare closings due to COVID-19
  • Employee who is quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19 and the employer remains open
  • Employee who is out of work due to ordered closure of employer
  • Employee who refuses to go to work when employer remains open despite urging by the government to close
  • Employee is self-distancing and refuses to go to work due to fear of group gatherings
  • Employee is self-quarantined as advised by a healthcare provider due to the employee’s compromised immune system
  • Employee is a healthcare worker who was exposed to COVID-19 at work and is self-quarantined

Federal Family Medical Leave Act

  • Possibly an employee who has COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19
  • Possibly an employee who is caring for a family member with COVID-19
  • Possibly an employee quarantined due to COVID-19

Federal Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

  • Employee unable to work due to leave to care for their child when the child’s school place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.

New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance

  • Employee who has COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19
  • Employee quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19 and employer remains open
  • Employee is self-quarantined as advised by a healthcare provider due to the employee’s compromised immune system
  • Employee is a healthcare worker who was exposed to COVID-19 at work and is self-quarantined
  • Possibly when employee is self-distancing and refuses to go to work due to fear of group gatherings

New Jersey Family Leave/New Jersey Family Leave Insurance

  • Employee is caring for a family member sick with COVID-19

Workers Compensation Benefits

  • Employee is a healthcare worker who was exposed to COVID-19 at work and is self-quarantined
  • Possibly an employee who has COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19
  • Possibly an employee who is quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19 and employer remains open

New Jersey Unemployment

  • Employee who is out of work due to voluntary or ordered closure of employer
  • Employee is working less hours due to business slow down or lack of demand
  • Possibly for employee who refuses to go to work when employer remains open despite urging by the government to close

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

Generally, the rules of the ADA continue to apply.  However, during a pandemic, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, employers may ask certain medical related questions to employees.  Employers may ask an employee whether the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as, fever, chills, shortness of breath, cough, or sore throat.  Due to the acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 by the CDC and state/local health authorities, employers may take the temperature of employees, which is usually considered a medical examination and prohibited.  Employers may require employees experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.  Employers can also require documentation certifying that an employee does not have COVID-19 before allowing an employee to return to work.  All medical information must be kept confidential.

WAGE AND HOUR

Employers should be careful when reducing the hours of salaried, exempt employees or when assigning salaried, exempt employees to other duties than their normal duties to make sure the employer is complying with the requirements of the particular exemption and properly paying the employee.

HEALTH INSURANCE

Employers should make sure they are complying with COBRA requirements for employees who become ineligible for employer-sponsored health insurance due to reduction in hours or layoffs.

WORK PLACE SAFETY

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) and the New Jersey Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (“PEOSH”) requires employers to provide a safe work environment—free from recognized hazards.  There are many steps an employer can take to help protect employees from COVID-19 at the workplace.  One way employers can protect their employees from COVID-19 is to provide personal protective equipment like gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection, in accordance with OSHA and PEOSH regulations.  Employers should also strongly encourage employees to frequently and thoroughly wash their hands, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home if they feel sick, and practice safe distancing when at work.

Further, if any employee exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, the employer should immediately send the employee home.  When an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, the employer should deep clean and disinfect the workplace, and notify other employees of their possible exposure, while maintaining the identification and identifying information of the employee as confidential.

Contact our Corporate or Employment Departments for advice and assistance applying these laws to your particular business.  As always, we will keep you updated on any changes in the law and newly enacted legislation.

The content of this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should consult a lawyer concerning your specific situation and any specific legal question you may have.

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