Healthcare workers and first responders are forced to report to work, day after day, to battle the life-threatening COVID-19 virus. Sadly, there is no legal requirement that their employers provide them with hazard pay, despite the grave dangers they continue to face. What is hazard pay and how can it impact the workers putting their lives on the line to help infected patients?
Lana was led to plaintiff-side representation through her passion for advocacy. Prior to law school, Lana volunteered as a Guardian ad Litem Child Advocate, working to ensure the safety of abused and neglected children, which inspired her dedication to serving others and fighting for justice. She continued to pursue this calling throughout law school, including serving as a MLK Fellow at the Legal Aid of North Carolina, where she worked on consumer protection, housing, domestic violence, and fraud cases, and litigated under the NC Student Practice Rule. Upon earning her J.D. from Georgetown University Law center, she received honors for her commitment to pro-bono service.
The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) is a step in the right direction to help workers impacted by COVID-19, but it doesn’t do enough to assist all employees. More congressional action is needed to address the financial struggles left in the massive gaps of the FFCRA’s protections.
What can you do if you contract COVID-19 while on the job? Even though you can file a workers’ compensation claim, you still have to prove how you contracted the virus. Those who have a greater exposure at work are more likely to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits than those who have the same likelihood of contracting the virus as the general public.
Given the recent pandemic due to COVID-19, many employees are concerned about their ability to earn an income if their workplace shuts its doors, or even if their hours are simply reduced – and rightfully so. Unfortunately, the law has some significant gaps when it comes to addressing such questions as these are unprecedented times that the law had not yet contemplated.