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COVID-19 and Reopening NYC Part 3


In our third blog post about what reopening NYC might look light, we answer some additional questions about job security and pay in light of COVID-19.

Job Security & Pay in light of COVID-19

Am I entitled to hazard pay if my job puts me at risk of exposure to the virus?

There is no law that presently offers this protection. Employers may – but are not required to offer -- hazard pay for people in high-risk jobs.

If my employer asks for volunteers to return from furlough and I raise my hand, can my employer reject me? I’m over 50 and have an underlying health condition.

Making decisions based on perceptions of who is at higher risk will likely cross the line into illegal discrimination. Employers might be motivated to pick the youngest and healthiest people to come back first, but if they do that, there would be legal ramifications.

My employer has called me back to the office, and schools are still closed. I’ve already used up my paid leave and the expanded leave provisions in the Families First legislation. What do I do if I have no one to look after my kids?

Workers are in a difficult spot here, since schools and day care are a prerequisite for many people to go to work. You can ask for an unpaid leave of absence, but your employer isn’t obligated to offer that or to hold your job for you if you do take leave.