The public health officials have simple advice to reduce the spread of the disease COVID-19 in the United States: if you are sick, stay home. And even if you are sick, stay home and practice “social distancing” whenever possible, writes TIME.
This Board can be a problem for 24% of American workers have no paid sick leave. If they miss work because they feel bad or they need to sit with children as the schools are closed due 2019 coronavirus-nCoV, they will not get paid. If they go to work sick, they risk spreading the 2019 coronavirus-nCoV among his colleagues and clients.
As confirmed cases COVID-19 is already registered, even in new York, the Democrats, the house of representatives tried to pass a law that would provide full-time employees seven paid sick days on an ongoing basis and 14 additional paid sick days that can be used for current emergencies public health.
On March 14, the House of representatives passed version of the bill, which includes some provisions on temporary paid leave for illness, as well as the exceptions that will affect millions of Americans. Subsequently, the Senate passed the bill on March 18, and after a few hours, President Donald trump signed it.
What does this mean for ordinary Americans?
If you work in a state-owned company or company in which fewer than 500 employees, you will be entitled to two weeks of sick leave or the right to quarantine, while your salary will remain the same.
You will also have the right to two weeks paid vacation with pay during this period at least two thirds of your regular rate if you are caring for a family member with a diagnosis of COVID-19, or when child care, school or babysitter which become inaccessible as a result of the situation with the 2019 virus-nCoV.
Employees working a full day will be entitled to 80 hours paid sick leave. Employees that work part-time will be entitled to the number of hours in a hospital, they usually spend at work over a two week period.
In addition, the expanded Law on leave for family and medical reasons will provide civil servants and those working in companies employing less than 500 people, a minimum of 30 days with 10 weeks of paid leave in emergencies for child care, schools or kindergartens which were closed.
Workers are quarantined, or those who care for sick family members will not be eligible for vacation. After 10 days unpaid leave, your employer will pay you not less than two-thirds of your regular wages — up to $200 per day (up to $10 000).
Who falls under the exception
The legislation provides that the Department of labour may exempt businesses with less than 50 employees from providing paid emergency leave, as “the introduction of such requirements would threaten the viability of the business.” About 12 million employees of private firms working in companies with number of employees less than 50 employees.
Companies with more than 500 employees are also excluded from the lists of paid leave. Bureau of labor statistics reported that in 2019, in companies with more than 500 people worked 59 million people, of which about 6.5 million did not have access to paid sick leave.
However, in light of concerns related to the spread of the virus 2019-nCoV, some large companies in recent weeks has decided to provide paid leave on their own.
Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S. and has conducted a policy of paid sick leave, made the decision in light of the global crisis in health. Employees working in stores, offices or distribution centers of Walmart, be sure to go to quarantine, regardless of whether these rules are imposed by the government or Walmart. Any employee who received a positive test result for infection was 2019-nCoV, according to a press release of the company published on 10 March, will also receive up to two weeks of paid vacation.
Darden Restaurants, which owns the largest chain restaurants Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, recently announced its offer. All employees are provided one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work.
What this means for business
The company, which employs less than 500 people, will have to pay for the costs of paid sick leave and emergency leave, but later they will be entitled to compensation tax benefits from the government. For providing paid leave to workers quarantined because of illness COVID-19, companies will be compensated up to $511 per employee per day. For providing paid leave to employees caring for loved ones, employers will be compensated up to $200 per person per day. Private entrepreneurs are also entitled to compensation.
Companies with less than 50 employees who wish to apply for exemption from regulations on paid leave because they believe that it will jeopardize their business, can contact the Department of labor.
What will happen after the pandemic of 2019 coronavirus-nCoV
In the original version of the Law on responding to coronavirus disease was included the permanent paid sick leave that would allow employees to seven days of paid leave and benefits. But the bill adopted by the House of representatives and the Senate, said the rule will be in effect until December 31, 2020
When the bill will come into force
President Donald trump signed the bill on March 18. The Ordinance on the conditions of the paid leave should come into effect within 15 days.
The signature trump was not a surprise. People close to the White house, told TIME that the daughter of trump and his senior Advisor Ivanka trump was present at every conversation with the Secretary of Mocino and the President, which dealt with aspects of the legislation on paid leave. According to sources, she also maintained constant communication with Mocino during the negotiation process with the House of representatives.
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