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The Law & You

What Should My Union/Employer Do About Employees Contracting COVID-19 at Work?

The Law & You
April 15, 2020

The Law and You

What Should My Union/Employer Do About Employees Contracting COVID-19 at Work?

Haley Blanco: It’s time now for “The Law & You.” Joining us remotely today we have attorneys Ed Ciarimboli and Greg Fellerman. Nice to see you both.

Ed Ciarimboli: Good to see you, how are you doing?

Haley: Doing the best I can, you know? Trucking along, it’s a weird time for all of us and we all can’t wait for it to be over that’s for sure.

Ed: Yeah, no kidding.

Haley: But in the meantime, we’re helping viewers out from their homes with legal advice. Let’s get to today’s question. This comes from Joe in Hazleton, Joe says, “I work at a local food distributor/manufacturer in Mountain Top and there are multiple people with coronavirus. What can my union do and what should my employer be doing? We are scared.” This is happening everywhere.

Ed: Yeah, I tell you what. We read about this, Greg and I were talking about it, we read about it online, obviously it’s in the news. And first of all, your union has to demand that the employer act responsibly right now. And I mean acting responsibly under these circumstances, just like we’re all doing, is we’re social distancing, and also making sure that that work area is disinfected and sanitized all the time. And if they’re requiring employees to come to work who have symptoms of COVID and they’re not disinfecting, it’s entirely irresponsible and your union really has to do something so that that employer provides reasonable accommodations to make sure everybody is safe. And really those reasonable accommodations are personal protective equipment. They really have to step up to the plate here. Absolutely.

Greg Fellerman: Yeah and there’s a balance. I mean obviously businesses need to stay open and do the things they’re doing. But at the end of the day, you can’t compromise the safety and health of your workers. So obviously any of these employers have to take those steps to protect those workers. And we believe that if they do contract it at work, there will be workers’ compensation claims. Not really sure about third party or direct liability, it’s really probably going to be caged in a workers’ comp environment, but please everybody needs a balance, try to do the best you can do.

Haley: Absolutely. Alright guys thanks for your time today, if you have questions for “The Law & You,” just go to PAhomepage.com

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The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.

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