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Health Care
Coronavirus and Work—Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus and Work—Frequently Asked Questions

  1. My employer closed my workplace temporarily due to the coronavirus, and I am being forced to take an unpaid leave of absence. What can I do?
  • Workers who have earned at least $200 per week for 20 weeks or a total of at least $10,000 during their base year may be eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. UI pays 60% of a worker’s average weekly wages (up to $713 each week) for up to 26 weeks. To see if you qualify, visit https://myunemployment.nj.gov.
  •  If your workplace was ordered closed by a public official for public health reasons, you may be eligible to receive Earned Sick Leave benefits. Under New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave law, employees can use up to 40 hours of accrued paid sick leave if their workplace was closed by order of a public official due to an epidemic or public health emergency. For more information about New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave program, visit https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/law.shtml.

 

  1. I have coronavirus and am currently unable to work. What can I do?
  • Employers in New Jersey must provide employees with up to 40 hours of accrued paid sick leave per year. Under the Earned Sick Leave law, employees can use up to 40 hours of accrued paid sick leave to care for themselves or a loved one. For more information about New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave program, visit https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/law.shtml.
  •  Workers who have earned at least $200 per week for 20 weeks or a total of at least $10,000 during their base year may be eligible for Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) benefits. TDI pays two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wages (up to $667 each week) for up to 26 weeks. To see if you qualify for TDI, visit https://myleavebenefits.nj.gov/labor/myleavebenefits/worker/tdi.
  •  Workers who have contracted the coronavirus at work may be eligible for workers compensation. For more information about workers compensation, visit https://www.nj.gov/labor/wc/wc_index.html.

 

  1. I have to stay home from work to care for a relative with coronavirus. How can I receive income during this time?
  • Employers in New Jersey must provide employees with up to 40 hours of accrued paid sick leave per year. Under New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave law, employees can use up to 40 hours of accrued paid sick leave to care for themselves or a loved one. For more information about New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave program, visit https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/earnedsick/law.shtml.
  • Workers who have earned at least $200 per week for 20 weeks or a total of at least $10,000 during their base year may be eligible for Family Leave insurance if they are out of work caring for an ill loved one. FLI pays two-thirds of a worker’s wages (up to $667 each week) for up to up to six weeks (or 42 days). To see if you qualify for FLI, visit https://myleavebenefits.nj.gov/labor/myleavebenefits/worker/fli/index.shtml.

 

  1. Can I lose my job if I have to stay home to care for a relative with coronavirus?
  • The New Jersey Family Leave Act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave in a 24-month period without losing their jobs. In order to be protected by the NJ Family Leave Act, the employer must have at least 50 employees, the employee must have worked for that employer for at least 1,000 during the past 12 months, and the leave of absence must be to care for a loved one with a serious health condition. The NJ Family Leave Act requires covered employers to hold an employee’s position for up to 12 weeks (in a 24-month period), but it does not require employers to pay wages during that time. This law only applies to workers caring for an ill relative. It does not apply to workers on leave for their own health conditions. For more information, visit: https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/law.html#FLA.
  • The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks (in a one year period) of unpaid leave to care for themselves or a relative with a serious illness. To be eligible for this protection, the employer must have at least 50 employees in a 75-mile radius, and the employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately preceding the leave. Workers entitled to FMLA-protected leave are not required to be paid during the leave of absence, but they must be reinstated into their positions (or an equivalent position) at the end of the leave. For more information about the FMLA, visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/general-guidance.

 

  1. My employer won’t let me return to work because my family member either had the coronavirus or may have been exposed to the virus. What can I do?
  • If an employer forces a worker to remain out of work, without pay, for a period of time due to concerns about the risk of exposure, the worker may apply for unemployment benefits. Workers who have earned at least $200 per week for 20 weeks or a total of at least $10,000 during their base year may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. UI pays 60% of a worker’s wages (up to $713 each week) for up to 26 weeks. To see if you qualify for UI, visit: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/

 

  1. My employer cut my hours. What can I do?
  • If your hours have been reduced by 20% or more, you may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits. To be eligible for partial unemployment benefits, you must have earned at least $200 per week for 20 weeks or a total of at least $10,000 during the base year period. Partial unemployment benefits are calculated by subtracting the actual weekly wages earned from an individual’s partial unemployment benefit rate (20% higher than the regular unemployment weekly benefit rate). The individual receives the difference between the actual wages earned in a week and the person’s partial weekly benefit rate. To see if you qualify for partial UI benefits, visit https://myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/before/about/calculator/index.shtml?open#parttime.

 

  1. If I have coronavirus, can my employer reveal my condition to others?
  • Employers are required to keep medical information about employees confidential.

 

  1. I would like more information about my rights. Where can I get free legal advice?

 

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3/10/2020
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