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  • Writer's pictureBrian M. Miranda, Esq.

Out of work and don't know what to do?

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected millions of Americans and, too essential workers. This Pandemic has imposed the difficult choice between staying home and going to work to ensure the bills are paid.

For the millions of essential workers, there are unfortunately few options to guarantee both safety and employment. Through existing state and federal laws and the recent CARES Act, there are many options available, however, to those workers who contract the illness and those who must care for someone suffering from COVID-19.

In such circumstances, the first thing you should do is use the sick leave hours guaranteed to you by Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave and New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave. Federal leave is paid for by your employer and grants you up to 80 hours of fully paid sick leave per year, capped at $511/day. This should cover between 8 to 10 days for most working Americans. State leave provides you an additional 40 hours of fully paid sick leave per year with no cap, which should cover 4 to 5 days for most people.

Both programs cover full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees. Additionally, for those workers who believe they contracted the virus through contact with a co-worker, customer, or employer, or through some other work-related activity, there is an option to file for workers compensation, which is done through your employer. However, many employers are hesitant or even combative to demands for workers compensation and paid sick leave.

If you are unsure whether you are entitled to workers compensation or paid sick leave, or need help against an employer refusing to give you these benefits, contact us at 908-424-1011, or message us on our Facebook or Instagram.

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