Coronavirus Employment Law Update PLUS New Law Firm Policies
- Do not mail or drop off any documents at the office - Fax, email, scan, or share via the cloud (Such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
- In-person meetings and office hours - Until further notice we will conduct all interviews and meetings over the phone or video conferencing.
- Mandatory in-person Meetings - If we are required to meet in person we will practice social distancing and requesting that all employees, client, and individuals wash their hands.
- AN Law Firm, P.A. has made contingency plans in case of emergency to make sure your case will be handled properly.
Please contact an employment lawyer to discuss if your case qualifies for medical leave or if your medical leave is denied, if you have been retaliated against or terminated due to your request for medical leave. You must try and document your request for medical leave in writing and with proof such as doctor notes, diagnosis, documents showing closing of schools and daycares, etc.Emergency Paid Sick Leave - Starts April 2nd to last through December 31, 2020
- Which companies are covered and need to provide Emergency Paid Sick Leave?
Any company or employee working for an employer with less than 500 employees plus all employees working for a public agency.
- Who is covered and which employees will be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave?
All employees are immediately covered regardless of the length of employment and who can’t work at their office nor telework due to:
- Subject to Quarantine or isolation order
- Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
- Employees who are experiencing symptoms of coronaviruses and are seeking a medical diagnosis
- Employees caring for an individual that is subject to quarantine or isolation order or have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
- Employees caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or no longer available due to coronavirus
- Employees suffering substantially similar conditions by health and human services in consultation with the Department of Labor and the Treasury Department
- How much do employers need to pay employees for Emergency Paid Sick Leave?
If you’re a full-time employee:
- Up to 80 hours at the regular rate of pay if the employee is qualified due to reasons A, B, or C listed above.
- Paid at 2/3 regular rate if the employee is qualified due to reason D, E, or F listed above.
If you’re a part-time employee:
- The rate of pay is based on an average of 2 weeks.
- Your regular wages but capped at $511 per day or $5,110 in total if the employee is qualified due to reasons A, B, or C listed above.
- Your regular wages but capped at $200 per day or $2,000 in total if the employee is qualified due to reasons D, E, or F listed above.
- How to Coordinate Paid Medical Leave?
Employers must allow employees to use paid medical leave first and after the employee can use any other paid leave benefits the company already offers.
The Employer can’t force employees to use PTO first.
- Can Employers retaliate against an employee?
No, employers not allowed to retaliate against employees for request paid medical leave under the new law.
- Which companies are covered and need to provide emergency coronavirus FMLA leave?
- § With less than 500 employees.
- § If the employer has less than 50 employees, the company can file for an exemption “when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business.”
Public Employers (Government Workers)
- § All are Automatic Covered and required to provide emergency coronavirus FMLA leave.
- Which employees are eligible for emergency coronavirus FMLA leave?
Part-Time or Full-Time employees that have worked for at least 30 calendar days with the company.
- What are the reasons that allow an employee to take emergency coronavirus FMLA leave?
Employees are unable to work or telework to care for a child if the school or childcare has been rendered unavailable because of a public health emergency.
- What Benefits are employees entitled to under emergency coronavirus FMLA leave?
- 12 weeks off for Public Health Emergency
- The first 10 days are unpaid leave, but an employee can still use PTO for the first 10 days to get payments.
- After the first 10 days, employees are entitled to paid leave of 2/3 the regular pay rate but it the pay is capped up to $200 per day.
- Restoration of same or equivalent position – UNLESS – if the employer has less than 25 employees and if the position does not exist when the employee returns to work there would be no need to restore the position.
- Reimbursements to Employers!
Employers are eligible for reimbursement in the form of tax credits from the government if they provide emergency coronavirus FMLA leave.
- § Companies will be reimbursed up to $511 per employee per day.
- § For paid sick leave wages provided to employees caring for loved ones, employers will be reimbursed up to $200 per worker per day.
- § Self-employed individuals are also eligible for the reimbursable tax credits.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issues Stay At Home order taking effect midnight April 2nd, 2020 and will last for 30 days. Exception for Essential Services and Activities. Read more at NBC News.Update 03-22-2020
To take immediate advantage of the paid leave credits, businesses can retain and access funds that they would otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes. If those amounts are not sufficient to cover the cost of paid leave, employers can seek an expedited advance from the IRS by submitting a streamlined claim form that will be released next week. The Department of Labor will release “simple and clear” criteria for businesses with fewer than 50 employees to apply for exemptions from the leave provisions related to school and childcare closures, and there will be a 30-day non-enforcement period for businesses making a reasonable effort.OSHA - Unsafe Work Environment
It is best to first speak with an employment lawyer before filing a complaint with the employer or government agency. We are helping employees all over Miami Dade and Broward County from our Miami Lakes location and are working virtually throughout the state of Florida.
Make sure to document your claim and request with the company and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the appropriate agency such as your local county, regarding workplace safety issues regarding:
- Not allowed to Stay home and self-isolate
- Crowded work environment less than 3 feet apart,
- Large crowds of people or employees,
- no social distancing
- Employer Not Providing Protection such as no masks, gloves, wipes, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection.
- Unable to wash hands
- Get proof of your claims, documents, pictures, recordings, Doctor Notes, Diagnosis, text, emails, witnesses?
- Keep a timeline of events and names of people
There are no black and white standards to deal with the Coronavirus so before demanding any changes or refusing to work please make sure you speak to an employment attorney to make sure you carefully narrow your request to your job requirements.WARN ACT - Mass Lay off - More than 50 Employees
If you were terminated without warning file for unemployment online with Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).
You may also have a case if:
- You worked for a large company
- More than 50 Employees were terminated at the same time
- You did not get 60-day notice before the layoffs
Speak to an employment lawyer, bring your termination notice and be prepared to discuss how you found out about the layoffs, who informed you, how you know that more than 50 employees were terminated, why certain employees were laid off an not the others, etc.