As COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread across the country, lawmakers and employers are trying to figure out an action plan to keep people safe. Many employers are asking their employees to work from home, but not everyone can do their job from the comfort of their home, and this can lead to lost wages. Even if you’re not living paycheck to paycheck, an indefinite suspension of your work duties can leave you wondering about your financial security.
In response to the empedic, Democrats in the Minnesota House of Representatives announced last week that they are trying to expand unemployment insurance to allow more people to collect unemployment during the coronavirus outbreak.
“We want to keep Minnesotans safe. We’re moving these bills and considering these bills as fast is as reasonably possible,” said Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman, D-Brooklyn Park. “Things are changing on kind of an hour-by-hour basis, so we just want to be prepared to consider the things that Minnesota would want us to take action on.”
The proposal would allow workers to seek unemployment insurance or paid sick leave if they are quarantined due to the outbreak or if their employer shuts down during the outbreak. Workers would not be required to seek new employment as a condition of collecting unemployment, which is required under standard unemployment collection.
“We are trying to be more proactive in situations where the employer may shut down due to quarantine or they don’t allow any workers to come to work due to health concerns,” Rep. Mohamud Noor, D-Minneapolis, said. “This is more about public safety, in order to ensure the individuals can continue to receive income.
As we’ve talked about on the blog in the past, seasonal flus and illnesses are generally not covered by workers’ compensation, but obviously this is a unique situation. We can’t say for certain whether or not the condition would be covered by workers’ compensation, but if you contract the coronavirus or are forced to miss work due to a quarantine, it may be worth talking with a work injury lawyer to see if you could pursue unemployment benefits.
Obviously a lot depends on what lawmakers decide to do, but the details regarding your work situation could make you eligible for certain benefits. We’ll do our best to explain your options and help you secure compensation if we believe you might be eligible. For now, we’ll continue to monitor the situation.
Reach out to Hey Workers at 844-439-9675 for more information.