Workplace pandemic, know your rights at work

Local News

BROWNSVILLE, TX

As more employers are encouraging employees to work from home, those deemed as essential workers continue to be at risk for the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

With employees on edge over a workplace pandemic…

We reached out to labor right experts on what you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Labor Attorney John Shergold says, “And your employer says come to work or I’m going to fire you… you could always make a complaint to OSHA. And basically state that you employer is requiring you to work when it’s not essential.”

But what exactly is essential?

Legal experts continue to debate what counts as an essential function.

Regardless, of where you work – you should be able to be able to still maintain social distancing and if someone in your office is sick, you don’t have to stay silent.

Attorney and business strategist, Tomas Antonio Caquias, Esq. M.S.T.C. says, “OSHA is there. The EEOC is there, wage and hour is there, DPS is there, and that Texas provides those resources. If you don’t know what those resources are seek counsel.”

Experts recommend you stay up to date on the latest mandates coming down from federal, state, and local government.

“We’re seeing the best America has to offer. I don’t think there is going to be a lot of litigation coming out of this stuff, because I think that a lot of employers and workers are working together,” says Shergold.  

If you’re counting on a paycheck, you now have options. As of April first, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will allow workers to have up to 80 hours of paid leave for themselves or to assist their families for virus related issues.

You can find more COVID-19 employment resources here:

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text

https://www.eeoc.gov/#

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