Are you protected by sick leave during the coronavirus outbreak?

Coronavirus Updates

What happens if you become infected with COVID-19, or want to stay home as a precaution?

Will you be able to take extended sick leave?

The answer depends largely on your employer, and how long you’ve worked for the company.

“Here in Utah, there aren’t many other protections for individuals that are sick,” said Drew Lunt of The Lunt Group based in Sandy.

Related: Lawmakers introduce bill to help workers facing time off, loss of income, over coronavirus

The company publishes the online source the employmentlawhandbook.com.

“That covers employment laws from Utah and all the 50 states plus federal laws as well,” explains Lunt.

Utah is an employment-at-will state meaning an employer generally has the power to fire an employee at any time unless a law or contract provides otherwise.

“The law that would cover most people in this situation is the federal law Family Medical Leave Act,” explains Lunt.

The act is a United States labor law requiring covered employers to provide employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified reasons.

“In those situations, for employees that aren’t covered by the Family Medical Leave Act, they would need to go to their employee handbooks, agreements with employers and see what kind of short-term benefits there are,” said Lunt.

An example would be taking sick leave or checking to see if your company has a long-term leave or absence policy.

ABC4 did check with Manpower in Sandy.

Its marketing manager tells us in the wake of the outbreak, some companies are extending their sick leave up to two weeks.

The standard is five days.

In the event you need to take leave due to the outbreak, it’s important to work with your company’s human resource department to see your best course of action.

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