Protecting Workers during the Coronavirus Pandemic
March 13. 2020
For over 45 years, Equal Rights Advocates has advocated for workers who do not have access to job protected, paid sick days. While we have made progress in some states, the vast majority of workers remain vulnerable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are the latest developments in legislation to expand worker protections, and how you can join ERA in supporting these efforts:
- Paid Sick Leave Mandates: There is no federal law requiring sick leave, and only a handful of laws mandate it. These states include California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Maine’s paid sick leave law will go into effect in 20201.
To support a federal bill that would permanently give all U.S. workers access to paid sick days, please join us in asking your Representative to support the Healthy Families Act.
- Proposed Temporary Federal Sick Leave Benefit: The good news is that House Democrats have proposed a temporary federal sick leave benefit as part of emergency legislation to address the COVID-19 crisis. The proposed multi-billion dollar package (thus far rejected by the White House and Republicans in both chambers) also includes free testing for coronavirus, food aid, and expanded unemployment insurance. Negotiations continue.
- Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Workers Affected by Coronavirus: The federal Department of Labor has announced that states may pay benefits to (1) quarantined workers (2) those who leave work to avoid exposure or to care for a family member; and (3) those not working because of operations closed due to the coronavirus. Learn more.
Know Your Rights: Resources
Learn more about your rights to see how you can protect your health, and the health of your loved ones, coworkers, and community. We recommend these two resources: