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Do Not Panic – You Have Protections During COVID-19

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2020 | blog |

Maryland provides employees with some protections. According to the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, employers may not decrease an employee’s wages or change their regular paydays without giving the employee at least 1 full pay period’s notice.

Employees in D.C. also have some protections. If you are fired in D.C., your employer is required to pay you your earned wages by the following work day. Likewise, employees in D.C. who resign are required to be paid their earned wages by the next regular payday, or within 7 days of their resignation, whichever is earlier.

Additionally, President Trump signed the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” which, among other things, incorporates the “Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.” The new law provides additional protections for workers negatively affected by COVID-19. Nearly a quarter of U.S. workers don’t have access to paid sick leave, and the new law would extend paid sick leave to workers diagnosed with, or in quarantine, for COVID-19. Employees could also use paid sick leave under the new law when they have symptoms and are seeking a diagnosis, or if they are caring for someone in quarantine.

  • Paid sick leave benefits available when the law takes effect on April 2, 2020 and until December 31, 2020;
  • The law provides free testing for COVID-19;
  • Additional federal funds for Medicaid and nutritional programs;
  • FMLA leave expanded to cover employees whose kids’ schools have closed;
  • $1 billion for increased unemployment insurance benefits;
  • Refundable tax credit worth 100% of paid sick leave wages;
  • Temporary emergency standards to protect health care workers who are at risk for exposure to COVID-19;
  • Employers with fewer than 50 or more than 500 employees are not covered by the new law.

If you have any questions related to COVID-19, or any other aspect of employment law, contact Thatcher Zavaro & Mani at 301-850-1246.