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Trump has signed into law on the provision of paid leave due to coronavirus: what you need to know

Public health officials have simple advice to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the United States: if you get sick, stay home. And even if you are not sick, stay home and practice “social distance” when possible, writes TEAM.

Photo: Shutterstock

This advice can be a problem for 24% of American workers who do not have paid sick leave. If they miss work because they feel bad or need to sit with their children, because schools are closed due to the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, then they do not get paid. If they go to work sick, they risk spreading the coronavirus among their colleagues and clients.

Since confirmed cases of COVID-19 have already been reported in all US states, Democrats from the House of Representatives tried to enact a law that would provide full-time employees with seven paid sick days and 14 additional paid sick days that could be used during the current emergency. in public health.

On the subject: Virologist gave valuable advice on how to avoid getting COVID-19 during a pandemic

On March 14, the House of Representatives adopted a version of the bill, which includes some provisions on temporary paid sick leave, as well as exceptions that affect millions of Americans. The Senate subsequently passed the bill on March 18, and hours later, President Donald Trump signed it.

What does this mean for ordinary Americans?

If you work in a state-owned company or in a company with less than 500 employees, you will have the right to two-week sick leave or the right to quarantine, while your salary will be saved.

You will also be entitled to a two-week paid vacation with at least two-thirds of your normal rate paid during this period if you are caring for a family member with a diagnosis of COVID-19 or caring for a child whose school or caregiver has become unavailable as a result of virus 2019-nCoV.

Full-time employees will be eligible for an 80-hour paid sick leave. Part-time employees will be entitled to the number of sick hours they usually spend on work during a two-week period.

In addition, the expanded Family and Medical Leave Act will provide civil servants and those working in companies with fewer than 500 employees with at least 30 days of 10-week paid leave in emergency situations to care for children whose schools or kindergartens were closed .

Quarantined workers or those caring for sick family members will not be eligible for such leave. In addition, this right may be denied to doctors and representatives of other emergency services. After 10 days of unpaid leave, your employer will pay you at least two-thirds of your regular wage - no more than $ 200 per day (the total cannot exceed $ 10).

Who falls under the exception

Legislation provides that the Department of Labor may exempt enterprises with less than 50 employees from providing them with paid emergency leave, as "the introduction of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business." About 12 million employees of private firms work in companies with less than 50 employees.

Companies with more than 500 employees are also excluded from paid vacation lists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2019, 500 million people worked in companies with more than 59 employees, of which about 6,5 million did not have access to paid sick leave.

However, in the light of concerns about the spread of the 2019-nCoV virus, some large companies have decided in recent weeks to provide paid holidays on their own.

Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States and already pursuing a paid sick leave policy, made this decision in light of the global health crisis. Employees working in Walmart stores, offices, or distribution centers must be quarantined, regardless of whether these rules are enforced by the government or Walmart. Any employee who receives a positive test for the 2019-nCoV virus infection, according to the company's press release published on March 10, will also receive up to two weeks of paid leave.

Darden Restaurants, the owner of the large chain restaurants Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, recently announced their offer. All employees are given one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work.

What does this mean for business?

Companies with less than 500 employees will have to pay the costs of paid sick leave and emergency leave, but later they will receive the right to reimbursement through tax benefits from the government. Compensation will be paid up to $ 19 per employee per day for paid leave for employees quarantined due to COVID-511 illness. For the provision of paid leave to employees caring for loved ones, employers will be paid compensation of up to $ 200 per person per day. Private entrepreneurs are also entitled to compensation.

Companies with less than 50 employees who want to apply for exemption from a paid vacation leave order because they believe this would jeopardize their business can contact the Labor Department.

What will happen after the 2019-nCoV coronavirus pandemic

The original version of the Coronavirus Disease Response Act included permanent paid sick leave, which would allow workers to receive seven-day paid leave and benefits. But the bill passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate says that this rule will be valid until December 31, 2020.

On the subject: Until 2021: US government prepares for 18 months of coronavirus crisis

When the bill comes into force

President Donald Trump signed the bill on the evening of March 18. The decree on the conditions of paid leave must enter into force within 15 days from this moment.

Trump's signature was not a surprise. People close to the White House told TIME that the daughter and senior adviser to the president, Ivanka Trump, was present at every conversation between the head of the Department of Finance, Stephen Mnuchin, and the president, who dealt with aspects of paid vacation legislation. According to sources, she also maintained constant contact with Mnuchin during the negotiation process with the House of Representatives.

As reported by ForumDaily:

  • A new virus was discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. In 2020, it covered all continents except Antarctica. On March 11, US President Donald Trump imposed a ban on entry from the EU. The ban came into force on Friday, March 13, and will last at least 30 days. In particular, it will concern people who have visited the Schengen area over the past 14 days.
  • March 13 Trump due to coronavirus introduced a nationwide emergency regime in the US.
  • On March 11, WHO recognized the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, which covered more than 110 countries. Symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19 Disease Available here.
  • Virologist's tips on how to protect yourself from infection - link.
  • Taking advantage of the panic in the society because of the epidemic, fraudsters came up with several schemes to deceive victims of personal data and money. The most common ones can be found here.
  • Having succumbed to panic due to a state of emergency, Americans are massively buying toilet paperbut they cannot explain why they need it during the epidemic.
  • Read all news about coronavirus in our special project.
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