Lebau and Neuworth partner Richard Neuworth appeared on WMAR-TV 2 on June 4 via a webcast to discuss employee rights during the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. Richard was hosted by WMAR News Investigative Reporter Mallory Sofastaii and answered questions from watchers who emailed or chatted them to Richard during the segment.
Richard was able to address a large number of issues while on WMAR, including whether or not someone can actually go back to work, what to do about health insurance and retirement benefits if an employee cannot return to work; and how an employee can be paid, including collecting unemployment benefits. He made a point that these issues and more can be affected by disabilities, as employers may need to make special accommodations in some cases for an employee to go back to work under the pandemic circumstances.
Some of the questions Richard fielded dealt with issues including what employers are required to do to keep employees safe. These included providing proper ventilation for the workspace and proper accommodations to employees with disabilities (of which employees must make employers aware beforehand.)
Some of the other questions involved taking care of children who are home because of the pandemic, and paid and unpaid leave for employees.
One particular question among the many posed to Richard was from a message therapist who is leery of returning to her particular job because of the inability to social-distance from clients – but needed to work to be paid and get health benefits. Richard advised that if the employee has no specific health conditions and her hesitation to return to was simply from fear of being infected, it is not a simple situation, so she should speak with the employer about personal protective gear, doing other work and/or seeing fewer clients – noting that the first step for those who are fearful is talking to your employer or hiring legal counsel if you have some kind of disability that is anxiety-related.
SEE THE ENTIRE BROADCAST HERE: Richard Neuworth on WMAR Answers COVID-19 Legal Questions
Employees must be on alert to safeguard their job protections at this difficult time. We at Lebau & Neuworth are available to listen to you and see if we can protect your job rights, including those under all laws pertaining to the Coronavirus pandemic. For more information, contact us 888-456-2529 or lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.