When you come down with a cold or flu, you’re not worried about losing your job. Even if you get injured during the course of your employment, you find comfort in knowing that you have access to workers’ compensation coverage to help you get by. But when you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and are faced with a mandatory quarantine period, you may begin to ask yourself if your job is at risk.
The good news is that you can’t be fired for missing work if you are diagnosed with the novel Coronavirus and told by a medical professional that you need to quarantine for a specific amount of time.
Job Protections for NJ Employees With COVID-19
On March 20, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a new law – N.J.A.C. 12:70 that makes it illegal for employers to fire or punish any employee who requests or takes time off from work based on a medical professional’s diagnosis of or likelihood of having COVID-19.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), which protects NJ workers from discrimination and harassment based on the origins of religion, disability, national origin and perceived race, was expanded to include the novel Coronavirus. As such, if you cough at work, your employer can’t fire you based on their assumption or perception that you have COVID-19. Furthermore, the LAD protects any worker who is of east-Asian heritage and is being harassed at work by calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” or claiming that those of Asian heritage are responsible for spreading it.
The New Jersey Family Leave Act
The New Jersey Family Leave Act, also known as NJFLA allows workers to take time off to help care for a sick relative. This act was also expanded to include COVID-19, meaning that workers are eligible to take time off work to help care for a relative who has contracted the virus. Under the NJFLA, individuals may also be eligible to take job-protected leave to care for their child if their school or place of care was shut down due to COVID-19.
Contact a Cherry Hill Employment Attorney for a Consultation About Wrongful Termination in New Jersey Today
If you think that your rights as an employee have been violated, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey employment law attorneys at Attorneys Hartman, Chartered represent clients throughout the state, including Moorestown, Marlton, Mount Laurel, and Cherry Hill. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your rights throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 235-0220 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 68 E. Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.