Coronavirus And Covid19 – Work In The Time Of Plague

You Have Rights As A Worker. I Will Help Protect Them.
Denis ZilberbergMarch 19, 2020Employee Rights

This is for California employees with labor law and employment law claims.

1. My employer laid me off. Can they do that? What should I do?

Yes, unfortunately they can. You are eligible for unemployment benefits and should make a claim with the Employment Development Department.

2. I am an exempt salaried employee, but I’m working sporadically. My employer is not paying my salary. Is that legal?

Maybe. Your employer cannot deduct from your salary for variations in the amount of work. If you are ready, willing and able to work, your employer has to pay your full salary even though work is not available.

There is an exception. If you performed no work – zero – in a workweek, the employee does not have to pay a salary. But a workweek is not any seven consecutive days. Rather it is a fixed and regularly reoccurring time period established by the employer.

If your employer makes improper deductions from your salary, you might become a nonexempt employee and can receive overtime pay, etc.

3. Can my employer make me come to work? I am scared of getting the coronavirus.

The general rule is that they cannot expose you to “imminent” dangers at work. If you want to know more, you should review the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) website. Is the Coronavirus/Covid19 an “imminent” danger? That will depend on your situation.

4. My employer reduced my hours – and my pay. What should I do?

Make a claim for unemployment. Unemployment benefits are paid to people who are “partially unemployed.” I am not saying you are eligible. You might be eligible. You should contact the Employment Development Department to find out.

My law practice does not include representing clients for unemployment benefits. My law practice does not include representing clients for unemployment benefits.


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