What Employees Need to Know About Their Rights

written by: Alisha Singh, LMHC, NCC

During these challenging times it is important for employees to have accurate information on the Impact of COVID-19 and the workplace. As an employee you need to know during a pandemic outbreak, such as COVID-19, what your employer can and cannot ask, what resources are in place to help with loss wages, and relying on social media or the internet is not prudent. Instead here are some resources you should use to get accurate information. The Department of Labor (DOL), which handles wages, hours worked and leave has information on Family First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights, and Guidance on Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities During COVID-19 Outbreak. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the federal agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws that apply to work situations such as hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits has guidance to employers and employees on What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a COVID-19 webpage on steps employers and employees can take to prevent exposure to the virus.

Also, for employees with insurance coverage through their employers you probably have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), which provides a certain number of free mental health sessions. Contact your Human Resources Department for information on your company’s EAP program. It is my hope that these resources will provide you with information you need to help you manage your stress and anxiety as we all work together to get through this challenge.

Additional Information for Employees:

Wages, Hours and Leave and the impact on the workforce when responding to COVID-19 click this link, https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

Guidance on Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities During COVID-19 outbreak https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20200312-0

Workplace Safety https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3989.pdf

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 webpage https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/

For reliable information regarding COVID-19 please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html