This list will be added to as time allows.
There is a great deal of confusion regarding sick/leave pay regarding Covid 19 and understandably so. It’s complicated. The following is an attempt at simplification of what you might be eligible for. Disclaimer: this is not intended to be legal advice. Do your own due diligence. State laws may offer other options. Things are changing very fast, so please keep up to date. Please verify everything as it pertains to you, your family, your employer and where you live.
Phase 2 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is basically about sick pay and leave. (See details here.)
If you work for an employer that has LESS THAN 500 employees or work for the government or a government agency:
Under EPSLA (Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act), you may collect two weeks (80 hours) of sick pay if you are subject to a governmental quarantine or isolation order, and/or have been advised by a health-care provider to self-quarantine.
This also applies if you are caring for someone else, or if your child’s school or child care provider is closed.
However, if the employer has less than 50 employees, you may not be eligible if they apply for, and receive, a hardship exemption.
Under EFMLA (Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act), you may collect up to 10 additional weeks paid leave at at least 2/3 of your regular rate of pay if you cannot work because your child’s school or child-care provider is closed as a result of Covid 19. You must have been employed with that employer for at least 30 calendar days.
The employer can exhaust all other forms of your paid leave first; ie, vacation, PTO, etc.
If you work for an employer that has MORE THAN 500 employees, you are not eligible for any paid sick leave in the Covid 19 legislation passed as of the date of this article.
WORKER’S COMPENSATION – Federal employees and health care workers, classified as “high risk,” may be able to receive up to 45 days worth of pay. Unless you are classified as “high risk,” (truck drivers are not), you must be able to prove you contracted Covid 19 while on your job. This is literally impossible. More information.
SHORT TERM DISABILITY – If you are diagnosed with Covid 19 and cannot work as a result, you may be eligible for short-term disability benefits if you have a STD policy. However, you must have a 1) diagnosis and 2) symptoms restricting your ability to perform your job. Documentation from your physician will be required. What is covered will vary. See this link for a few of the major carriers’ policies.
Truckers pretty much got left out in the cold in the Covid legislation that has passed this far.
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Truckers don’t want pity or handouts. We do deserve some protections. Somehow the CARE act was able to come up with millions for programs that have nothing to do with Covid.
We will keep bringing you the things you want and need, because.. that’s what we do. That’s how we earn our paycheck. Some will say that’s what we signed up for. This trucker personally did not sign up for trucking in a worldwide contagion, but it’s my job and I’ll do it.
The truth is, we are at risk. We are in and out of the hotspots. We are in and out of countless truckstops, where the travelling public also go. We are in and out of warehouses and rest areas. We use public bathrooms all over this country. Sure, we are quite solitary when driving, but we cannot stay in a 10 square foot space 24 hours a day — I mean, we come out sometimes lol. We use public showers at truckstops. We are at extra risk of getting sick and we are also at risk of being spreaders.
Some of us are going to get sick, or at least test positive. That’s just a matter of time and is in fact, is a ticking time bomb. That is not alarmist talk, it is just reality. We are not superhuman, in spite of the garbage we eat. It may well be that drivers whose freight slowed or stopped altogether will pick up the slack for those who are out of commission for a time. No one knows and no one can tell you.
What I CAN tell you is that a whole lot of truckers, right now, are rolling down the road, delivering loads. They’re doing it to earn a paycheck, yes, of course.. but they’re also doing it while they worry about the world. Some more than others. Worry about the loved one(s) at home. Worry about bringing something home to loved ones. You see that big truck rolling and it is probably hard to imagine there is a human soul in there, with fears, concerns and a family.
This wasn’t written to evoke a “oh, you poor trucker” reaction. Trust me, we don’t want that at all. Most of us are proud, hard working people who pride ourselves on self reliance and hard work. We shun pity.
Be well and God Bless. Please… stay…. home. Embrace how very blessed you are to be able to stay home.