An employer can send employees home from work based on any of the following scenarios:
- The employee has coronavirus virus or is exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus.
- The employee has reported they might be at risk.
- The employer has a reasonable belief that the employee is at risk.
- The employee has been told to self-quarantine.
If the employee is ill, the employee can seek to be paid for the time by utilizing PTO and/or paid sick leave, temporary disability insurance or workers compensation. If the employee is out caring for a family member, they may apply for family leave insurance and/or utilize PTO (including paid sick leave). If the employee is not ill but under quarantine, they can apply for unemployment and/or utilize PTO (including paid sick leave).
The circumstances may necessitate:
- an employer having a reduction in workforce; or
- seeking to close sites/reduce hours; or
- the place of work may be ordered closed by the governmental agency.
Again, at that time, employees can seek to be paid through the New Jersey Division of Unemployment Insurance.
Employees that are out caring for themselves or a family member with coronavirus may be eligible for New Jersey Family Leave Act or federal Family Medical Leave Act.
Additionally, if these job protected leave acts do not apply because the employer is not large enough, employers must analyze the leave under the reasonable accommodation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
The following links provide beneficial information regarding the coronavirus:
NJ DOL Benefits and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Employees Should Know
U.S. Department of Labor COVID-19 or Other Public Health Emergencies Q&A
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: What You Need to Know About COVID-19
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