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Employment Law and the Pandemic

Did you know your employer is legally allowed to ask you if you have virus symptoms during a pandemic? They can even require you to wear protective gear or work extra hours. In some cases, they can require you to come into the office, or ask you to work from home.

What else can employers do or not do? Can they dock your wages if they close? Can they make you take sick days? Who gets paid? Who doesn’t? We explore those issues below.


Many people get laid off, furloughed, or lose business during a pandemic. Get the facts about unemployment in your state, including who is eligible and how to apply.

Wage and Hour Laws

What happens to your pay during a pandemic depends on a number of factors such as where you work, whether you are an hourly or salaried employee, the pay benefits you have, and more.

Sick Time and Family/Medical Leave

Whether you have COVID-19, you are in quarantine, or you are sheltering in place, it's a good idea to learn the laws around sick time.

Workplace Safety

What can you do if your work is unsafe because of COVID-19? Can you quit? What happens if you decide not to work?

What Questions Can My Employer Ask? What Can They Require of Me?

During a pandemic, employers can ask you whether you are sick, and do many other things. Learn how your rights under U.S. laws change during a pandemic.

Learn More About Employment Law and the Pandemic

We will update this section with new content throughout the pandemic. For general employment law issues and questions, please visit the employment law section on If you need answers about a specific legal issue, or feel your employee rights have been violated, consider speaking with an employment lawyer in your state. Many attorneys offer phone and video consultations.

Additional Resources

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Schedule a Consultation

Many lawyers are offering phone and video consultations.

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