Employment Law and the Pandemic
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed December 01, 2020
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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.
- I Need Unemployment
- Unemployment During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Can I Get Unemployment If I'm Furloughed?
- Can I Refuse to Go to Work and Still Collect Unemployment?
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.
- If My Work Closes Because of an Emergency, Am I Still Owed Wages?
- Pay Docking for Salaried Employees
- What Is Hazard Pay, and Who Can Get It?
- Getting Paid for Not Working
- Is Mandatory Overtime Legal?
- Can My Job Force Me to Work While I'm Sick?
- Can My Boss Reduce My Work Hours Without Notice?
- Can I Be Forced to Take Unpaid Time Off Work?
- What Is an Essential Business? Who Are Essential Employees?
- Is My Employer Required to Reimburse Me for Work-From-Home Expenses?
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.
- During Coronavirus, Who Gets Paid Sick Leave?
- Family or Medical Leave and COVID-19
- Can I Legally Be Fired for Taking Sick Days?
- Employee Leave Policy FAQs
What can you do if your work is unsafe because of COVID-19? Can you quit? What happens if you decide not to work?
- My Work Is Unsafe Because of COVID-19. What Are My Rights?
- Can I Be Fired for Raising Safety Concerns Over the Coronavirus?
- Does My Employer Have to Protect Me From COVID-19?
- Can I Be Forced to Work During Shelter-in-Place?
- How Does Working From Home Affect My Rights?
- Do Teachers Have the Right to Refuse Returning to In-Person Schooling?
- Can I Get Workers' Comp for COVID-19?
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.
- The Coronavirus and Your Rights as an Employee
- Can Your Employer Require You to Test for COVID-19?
- Can Your Employer Require You to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine?
- What You Should Know Before Signing a COVID-19 Liability Waiver
- Can You Be Fired for Revealing a Positive COVID-19 Test at Your Workplace?
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 FindLaw.com. 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.
- COVID-19 resources for legal professionals
- Articles featuring Super Lawyers selectees (search for COVID-19)
- Recursos en Español
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.
Next Steps: Schedule a Consultation
Many lawyers are offering phone and video consultations.