With fears surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, employees are understandably concerned about its affect on the daily life, including how their jobs and pay may be affected. Everybody’s situation is different depending on a variety of factors such as where they work, the type of work they perform, whether they are exempt or non-exempt, and whether their place of work has put in any specific policies or procedures concerning the outbreak. If you have specific questions about your job, its best to consult with an experienced Atlanta wage and hour attorney as soon as possible.
In general, federal law provides guidance regarding sick leave, paid time off, and rights to compensation during office closures. For example, if your company is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you may be entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for serious health conditions and other medical situations. This would include time off if you become sick due to the virus, or need to care for a loved one affected.
Further, in addition to the unpaid leave provided by the FMLA, you may be entitled to paid time off. Whether you are considered an independent contractor or an employee may affect this determination.
In the event your work-place temporarily closes, you still may be entitled to receive your full paycheck, however this may depend on whether you are an exempt or non-exempt employee. Typically, exempt employees will continue to be paid their regular salary. However, if you are a non-exempt hourly employee, you may not be entitled to any wages.
Other considerations include whether you are expected to work from home, and how to ensure you are paid for all time worked. With the increase in remote working, many offices have set up specific protocols to ensure employees and employers are on the same page concerning when employees are considered “on-the-clock” and entitled to compensation. Failing to pay for time worked may be a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
As concerns about the coronavirus grow, it is a good idea to understand your rights as an employee, and how your job may be affected. For more information, or to schedule a case evaluation, please contact the experienced Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal for an immediate case evaluation.