In Indiana, you can be fired for most reasons because it is an “at will” state. Being an at will state, how can COVID-19 play a role in your employment? Many companies are forced to shut down, others are deemed essential.
Many people risk getting COVID-19 when their company remains open. Some employees are uncomfortable going to work when they have people in their household with a weaker immune system.
What are my options?
Some companies have to fire their employees because the virus has affected their business’s revenue. Others opt to fire employees that refuse to put their health at risk, forcing people to choose their financial stability over their health.
Depending on your job, you may be able to work from home. If the company you work for cannot offer you this option, you may be able to get a leave of absence. Whether it is paid or unpaid is up to the company you work for. If it is unpaid, you may be able to collect unemployment.
What is the government doing to help?
Though the government sent out stimulus checks, that money isn’t enough for this ongoing problem. Many families will have to defer payments and live like their money is quickly dwindling, because it is.
Recently, President Trump signed a bill that provides federal emergency paid-leave benefits. This bill aims to help those affected by the corona virus by requiring employers to give an extra paid two-weeks of sick leave. It can also give up to three months of paid leave to people affected. This leave will offer the employee up to two-thirds of their pay.
Although your employer can fire you during this time, it is important to know that you have options. The government is trying the best they can to help affected families. Paid leave and unemployment should be explored during this time because your health should be the top priority.