Being at the frontlines during a pandemic is no easy task, so it is important to make sure that you understand your rights during these uncertain times. Read on to learn more about how you can legally protect yourselves and your loved ones.

Your Rights As Essential Staff in a Pandemic

During a pandemic, you may have a state and national emergency being proclaimed by that specific leader. If this involves a pandemic such as COVID-19, then one of the rules put in place is that only essential employees can work. However, during this confusion, many laws become vague, and thus employees, as well as management, tend to have a difficult time understand what they can or can’t do. So here are some of the rights you need to know when working as an essential staff member during a pandemic.

Your Essential Staff Wages

One of the many consequences of a pandemic is that small businesses will see fewer and fewer customers throughout their day. This decrease in revenue will often lead business leaders to take drastic measures such as choosing to furlough employees or even cut pay across the board in order to make ends meet. However, what they can’t do is decide to lower wages after you’ve already worked those hours. The announcement must be made before your next pay period begins, thus allowing you to make necessary changes such as look for a new occupation.

Filing for Unemployment

Because of a decrease in business, many small and even large companies are cutting staff hours. This move leads people to file for unemployment benefits because they simply can’t live off the hours give to them. A common occurrence during these times is that business owners will ask employees to first use their vacation or PTO time before filing for unemployment. Although the request can be made, they cannot force you to not file for unemployment. Asking to use your PTO is also common when an employee suffers an injury at work. If worker’s compensation is being denied because of this, then it is highly recommended to seek the services of injury lawyers.