The Gittes Law Group

Columbus, Ohio Employment Attorneys

723 Oak Street
Columbus, OH 43205
Fax: (614) 221-9655

(614) 222-4735

COVID-19 Resources

Workplace Fairness has compiled resources to help keep you informed of your rights and new legislation regarding COVID-19. We have created this page to consolidate relevant coronavirus and COVID-19 information and to provide resources to help answer questions that you may have about COVID-19 new legislations and policies.

Unemployment
Workplace/Worker Health and Safety
Discrimination and COVID-19
Paid Leave
Worker Protections for Infectious Disease Outbreaks, Natural Disasters, and Public Health Emergencies
Wage Laws
COVID-19 Resources for Immigrant Workers
COVID-19 & Workers Victimized by Domestic Violence
Other Resources 

**UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD ALERT**

Unemployment

Unemployment Insurance for Individuals Affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Many States have adopted a range of helpful policies to expand access to Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. In addition, the federal government is allowing new options for states to amend their laws to provide UI benefits related to COVID-19.  

Unemployment Insurance Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak
The CARES Act gives states the option of extending unemployment compensation to independent contractors and other workers who are ordinarily ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Unemployment Insurance Protections in Response to COVID-19: State Developments
Additional states have adopted COVID-19 related provisions for UI. NELP has a great document that covers all 50 states.

Plant Closings / Mass Layoffs
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act offers some protection to workers, their families and communities against plant closings and/or mass layoffs, by requiring employers to give their workers sixty days notice before a plant closing or mass layoff.

What is a furlough?
An employee furlough is a mandatory suspension from work without pay. It can be as brief or as long as the employer wants. Furloughs can take place in both public and private institutions. An organization will furlough employees as a cost-saving measure when it doesn’t want to lay off staff but lacks the resources to continue paying them.

Filing an Unemployment Claim in Your State
Get vital information about filing an unemployment claim in your state. These pages give state specific information about the filing process, available benefits, and other important guidelines for getting unemployment.

Coping with Job Loss
The impact of termination goes well beyond shaking a family’s financial security. Job loss is also a very personal experience which people handle in very individual ways. Maintaining a positive outlook may not come easily to everyone, and may require serious effort on your part. A sincere effort to follow some of the suggestions could be beneficial.

How to apply for Public Benefits
Welfare programs are government subsidies for low-income families and individuals. Recipients must prove their income falls below a target, which is some percentage of the federal poverty level. There are six major U.S. welfare programs. They are the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP or “food stamps“), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and housing assistance. Here’s a guide to how and what you may be elegible to apply for.

How To File for Unemployment and What To Do After Losing Your Job
As many Americans swept up in the current economic crisis have likely never filed for unemployment, here’s a look at how it’s done and what it covers.

Coronavirus Unemployment Calculator Benefits by State
We hit the data to determine how much unemployed workers can expect to receive under the stimulus — and the amount in each state where you would make more money not working at all.

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Labor published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) addressing COVID-19 issues under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). the individual exhausts PEUC and the state has “triggered on” to EB as defined under the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 (26 U.S.C. §3304 note), the individual may then be eligible to receive EB. The duration of these benefits is up to 13 or 20 weeks, dependent on the state’s unemployment rate and if state law includes a trigger for periods of high unemployment

Updating Partial Benefits to Encourage Work by Claimants and Fairness for Part-Time Workers
A helpful guide to understand states partial unemployment insurance rules.

Trigger Notice Report
If the individual exhausts PEUC and the state has “triggered on” to EB as defined under the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 (26 U.S.C. §3304 note), the individual may then be eligible to receive EB. The duration of these benefits is up to 13 or 20 weeks, dependent on the state’s unemployment rate and if state law includes a trigger for periods of high unemployment. If the state is not “triggered on” to EB or the individual exhaust EB, the individual may then be eligible to receive PUA under section 2104.

Workplace/Worker Health and Safety

What is Protected Concerted Activity?
Under the National Labor Relations Act, most workers have the right to act together to address work-related issues in many ways. Protected Concerted Activities include: talking with one or more co-workers about working conditions, circulating a petition asking for health and safety provisions, participating in a concerted refusal to work in unsafe conditions, openly calling for paid sick leave, and joining with co-workers to talk directly to your employer or to a government agency about problems in your workplace.

Workers’ Right to Refuse Dangerous Work
If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, we recommend that you bring the conditions to your employer’s attention, if possible. You may file a complaint with OSHA concerning a hazardous working condition at any time.

Infectious Diseases and the Workplace 
It is important for workers and employers alike to know what employment actions are lawful in the face of serious illnesses, and how individuals and companies can protect themselves when infectious diseases are going around. Read here more information about infectious diseases and the workplace.

Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. 

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to plan now for COVID-19. OSHA developed this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. 

Worker Safety & Health During COVID-19 Pandemic: Rights & Resources
NELP has provided this policy toolkit for workers, their advocates and allies, and policymakers to help ensure that workers are protected. 

EEOC Updates Guidance to Address Return to Work Post-COVID-19
As federal, state and local governments contemplate plans to ease stay at home orders and reopen the economy, the EEOC has updated its guidance to address common issues that employers may encounter as employees idled by the COVID-19 crisis return to work. 

Work and the Coronavirus
How COVID-19 affects work, labor and employment. ILR helps make sense of how the coronavirus pandemic changes the workplace – from employment and legal policy, to labor relations and HR policies and practices. We will continue to share data, analysis, research and insight from our faculty and experts.

Employee Temperature and Health Screenings – A List of Statewide Orders
This post, current as of April 24, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (CDT), covers laws and orders that require employers to take employees’ temperatures and/or conduct other employee health screening procedures, such as asking employees about any COVID-19-consistent symptoms using a questionnaire or checklist.

FAQ: COVID-19 and Navigating the Workplace with a Disability
Many individuals with medical conditions managed through medication and/or lifestyle adjustments are finding themselves particularly vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic—especially when it comes to their employment. Some of these individuals may not previously have requested a reasonable accommodation for a heart or lung condition because they work in an office environment with sedentary duties. This FAQ is intended to help employees navigate their options, from the basics to the nuances during this pandemic.

Bouncing Back: A List of Statewide Return to Work Protocols
Government officials across the country are easing up, or preparing to ease up, on the stringent business closures and stay at home orders that helped the nation successfully slow the spread of COVID-19. Each jurisdiction will emerge from this collective state of suspended animation by implementing different measures, and on different timetables.

EEOC Says Employers Can Administer COVID-19 Tests Before Employees Can Come to Work
In guidance issued on April 23, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stated that employers may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus.

This Won’t Hurt a Bit: Employee Temperature and Health Screenings – A List of Statewide Orders, as of June 1, 2020
This post, current as of June 1, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. (CDT), covers statewide laws and orders that require employers to take employees’ temperatures and/or conduct other employee health screening procedures, such as asking employees about any COVID-19-consistent symptoms using a questionnaire or checklist

Checklist for Returning to Work During Coronavirus
You’ve been called back to work…now what? This checklist identifies issues that may justify your decision not to return.

Safe Job Checklist
BlueGreen Alliance released a new online resource to help American workers understand their rights, access critical safety information, and anonymously report unsafe working conditions during COVID19.

Employer Best Practices 
Policies to Support Workers During the Coronavirus Pandemic

OSHA Issues Revised Guidance for Recording COVID-19 Cases
OSHA issued new enforcement guidance regarding an employer’s obligation to record cases of COVID-19 on the OSHA injury and illness logs. The new guidance takes effect Tuesday, May 26, 2020, and will supersede OSHA’s previous guidance that was issued on April 10, 2020.  

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Discrimination and COVID-19

National Origin Discrimination
Regardless of an employee’s ancestry or any other nationality, individuals are entitled to equal access to employment opportunities. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of national origin. During this time, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) emphasizes that it is unlawful national origin and race discrimination against Asian Americans and people of Asian descent in the workplace during the pandemic.

Race Discrimination
Racial discrimination occurs when an individual is treated differently base on their actual or perceived race. Race discrimination also includes discrimination based upon skin color. Federal law prohibits race discrimination in the workplace and incidents of race discrimination can take many forms, in the workplace.

What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws (recently updated)
The EEOC posted a short question and answer document to provide information related to COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and other EEO Laws.

Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans With Disabilities Act 
The EEOC has provided guidance that can help employers implement strategies to navigate the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace. This pandemic publication, written during the prior H1N1 outbreak, is still relevant today and identifies established ADA and Rehabilitation Act principles to answer questions frequently asked about the workplace during a pandemic. It was updated on March 19, 2020 to address examples and information regarding COVID-19; the new information appears in bold.

The EEOC has also posted a pre-recorded webinar addressing questions arising under any of the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and the COVID-19 pandemic. The video can be seen on YouTube. A transcript of the webinar is also available.

EEOC Continues to Serve the Public During COVID-19 Crisis
The EEOC wants you to know that they are continuing to enforce the nation’s employment non-discrimination laws while ensuring that all of their activities are consistent with public health guidelines. 

EEOC Pauses Right-To-Sue Notices Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The EEOC has largely paused its issuance of key notices that start the clock for workers to sue their employers for bias.

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Paid Leave

State and Local Paid Sick Leave Laws
Although momentum for a federal paid sick leave requirement is growing, there are currently only a few states, sometimes limited to specific cities within these states, in which employers are required to provide paid sick leave to qualified individuals.  

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) & Emergency Paid Sick Leave
With the coronavirus pandemic affecting nearly everyone in the country and an influx of new legislation, Workplace Fairness has compiled information along with answers to many frequently asked questions to provide guidance during this transition. We have also provided answers to questions about the recovery rebate included in the bill. 

COVID-19 Triggers New State and Local Paid Leave Benefits, Guidance
To alleviate some of the economic strain on employees unable to work due to COVID-19, some state and local authorities have begun to implement new paid leave requirements. Other jurisdictions are modifying existing leave laws or benefit programs to accommodate employees’ needs during the pandemic. Here are brief summaries of new state and local paid leave benefits, as well as guidance addressing how current paid leave benefits apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Conference of State Legislature: Paid Sick Leave
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Congress enacted emergency legislation to temporarily give many Americans access paid leave if they need to take time off work because of the virus. A few states have also temporarily broadened access to paid sick leave in response to the impact of the coronavirus, but no permanent, broad paid sick leave measures have been adopted.

COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses FAQs
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), provides small and midsize employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to COVID-19.

Know Your Rights: Emergency Paid Sick Days and Paid Leave for Child Care and Coronavirus [Spanish]
National Partnership for Woman & Families provides a helpful guide and explanation for many workers about new rights to paid sick time and paid family leave to use for certain coronavirus-related health and family caregiving reasons, including for quarantine and child care.

COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act Questions and Answers
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
As provided under the legislation, the U.S. Department of Labor will be issuing implementing regulations. Additionally, as warranted, the Department will continue to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA.

OPM Issues Guidance on Additional Paid Sick Leave for Feds During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The federal government’s human resources agency confirmed this week that most federal workers are eligible to take up to two additional weeks of paid sick leave this year related to COVID-19.

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Worker Protections for Infectious Disease Outbreaks, Natural Disasters, and Public Health Emergencies

Employee Protections During Natural Disasters and Epidemics
Navigating your rights during a public health emergency or pandemic can be difficult. Many states provide protection for workers that prevent employers from terminating employees or other adverse actions.

Workers’ Rights During Public Health Emergencies
It is impossible to really plan for any emergency or disaster. When natural disasters like a hurricane, flood, earthquake, tornado, or fire happens many employment laws come into effect. Similarly, when there is a public health emergency, it is important for employers to be aware of employment & labor laws that may impact their employees in these situations.

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Wage Laws

COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act Questions and Answers
If your business has a shortage of workers and is looking to “volunteers” to help out, be aware that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has stringent requirements with respect to the use of volunteers.

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COVID-19 Resources for Immigrant Workers

FAQ: Immigrant Workers’ Rights and COVID-19-A Resource for Workers and Their Advocates
The National Immigration Law Center, the National Employment Law Project, and the Occupational Safety and Health Law Project have partnered to create a new Know Your Rights resource for immigrant workers.

California is now offering support to undocumented immigrants, in the first relief fund of its kind
Undocumented immigrants in California can begin applying for financial assistance to support them during the coronavirus pandemic — in the first relief fund of its kind.

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COVID-19 & Workers Victimized by Domestic Violence

When Work is Safer Than Home: Supporting Workers Experiencing Domestic & Sexual Violence During the COVID-19 [Spanish]
For many survivors of domestic & sexual violence, the workplace is not only an oasis of safety from an intimate partner who uses violence, but working also provides them with the financial resources that may provide a pathway to leave an abusive relationship. 

COVID-19, Survivors & the Workplace Resource [Spanish]
As workplaces adjust to an unfamiliar reality of remote interactions, these tips may help supervisors and coworkers recognize when a colleague may be experiencing violence at home, respond in a manner that centers the survivor’s physical and emotional safety needs, and refer them to resources available to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Other Resources

These states have implemented stay-at-home orders. Here’s what that means for you
As the US grapples with the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus that has the health care system at a tipping point, a growing number of states are ordering their residents to stay at home. Though the White House has advised all Americans to practice social distancing, the number of coronavirus cases in the US continues to rise. So, governors are taking stronger action by issuing stay-at-home orders. These are the states that have implemented stay-at-home orders.

This is where all 50 states stand on reopening
Leaders are highlighting the importance of using science and advice from health officials rather than politics to choose when to reopen the economy. Expanded testing, tracking contacts of people who had the virus, improved treatment options and vaccine development are important, they say. Here’s the latest on where states stand in their plan to reopen.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Workplace
The coronavirus outbreak has changed the work situations for millions of people throughout the United States. In this time of crisis, Outten & Golden is particularly concerned about protecting people’s employment rights and has prepared a set of FAQs to explain how federal, state, and local laws can protect your job, your wages, and your livelihood.

Opening Up America Again
President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.

Resources for Workers Impacted by COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of millions of working people and our families. Select your state to find the resources, programs and benefits available in your area to assist you during this crisis.

Coronavirus & Distance Learning Resources For Parents
During these complex times, the Share My Lesson team and the American Federation of Teachers have collected these curated ideas, resources and more to help you and your family adjust to this “new normal.” 

What Does Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Mean for College Students?
The new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program should provide significant benefits for working students who lost their jobs due to COVID-19: In the short term, those unemployed students could receive a $794 minimum weekly benefit.

We Want to Help you Not Get Kicked Out
Find out if your building qualifies for the federal eviction moratorium, current eviction protections where you live, and legal aid available in your area to help you stay in your home.

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