Miami, Florida Federal Workers Seek Hazard Pay: Can Frontline Workers Sue for Covid-19 Illness?
Mario Trespalacios, P.A. is a worker’s compensation law firm in Miami, Florida that is assisting individuals who need help appealing a denied Covid-19 worker’s compensation claim. While the burden of proof for Covid-19 worker’s compensation claims can be high (you’ll need to show that it is likely you contracted Covid-19 on the job; a high standard given the wide spread of Covid-19 in Miami). Yet, if you got sick as part of an outbreak of Covid-19 that took place at your workplace, you may have the ability to make a claim. If you are a frontline worker, health worker, or first responder, you may also have an easier time making a Covid-19 worker’s compensation claim.
But what about cases where workers believe their employers were negligent in protecting them? There have been stories of workers who were forced to come in to crowded workplaces despite known outbreaks. There have been stories of workers who were not given proper protective equipment, even as the virus raged through the community. Some workers who have not been able to receive protection under worker’s compensation have chosen to pursue lawsuits to protect their rights and seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
Other workers believe that they deserve hazard pay for being on the front lines. According to WBUR, Miami’s frontline federal workers are suing the government to receive hazard pay. Federal law requires that workers who are exposed to hazards on the job are entitled to receive hazard pay. Frontline federal workers feel like they aren’t being properly compensated. Many of these workers are exposed to the general public or are working in situations where outbreaks are actively taking place. Worse, when they do get sick, they may struggle just to get worker’s compensation to cover them for their medical bills and missed time from work.
According to the lawsuit reported by WBUR, workers in a range of areas might be entitled to receive a 25% pay increase if they win. Agencies listed in the suit include workers at Veterans Affairs, Agricultural Department meat inspectors, Social Security employees, Transportation Security Administration Employees, and military base security guards.
What can you do if you got sick on the job and believe you should receive compensation for your medical bills? Reach out to Mario Trespalacios, P.A., a worker’s compensation law firm in Miami, Florida today. Our worker’s compensation lawyer can review your case, assist you with your worker’s compensation appeal, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve under the law.
Didn’t Receive Protective Equipment on the Job? What You Can Do
According to Vox, many essential workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic claim that months into the pandemic, they still didn’t have access to personal protective equipment. Many workers employed in essential jobs believe that they have been denied access to basic sanitation (hand sanitizer) and protective equipment required to do their jobs. According to Vox, only 19 percent of essential workers are being provided with personal protective equipment every time they come to work. This is a serious issue, because if workers aren’t wearing a mask, they could be putting fellow co-workers and customers at risk. In a survey reported by Vox, researchers found that while many stores have increased sanitation efforts, workers feel that they aren’t being provided gloves or masks that they need.
And then there’s paid time off. While employers are required to provide paid time off for workers who have been asked to self-quarantine due to the virus or those who have tested positive, and to provide paid time off for those who are showing signs of symptoms, not all workplaces may have forgiving sick policies and some workers may feel pressure to come in to work, especially if they don’t know their rights. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted glaring gaps in our medical system and in our paid leave processes, which has proven to be a weak point when it comes to disease transmission. Activists are seeking better paid leave policies for workers across the board. Until then, all workers are entitled to paid leave if they get sick with the coronavirus. So there’s no reason why sick people should be showing up to work. Yet, with asymptomatic spread, and the potential for some employers to not comply with local orders, there is concern that workplaces could potentially be disease vectors. At the end of the day, if you believe you got sick on the job, you may be entitled to make a worker’s compensation claim and may have the right to even sue the employer if you cannot make a worker’s compensation claim. Have questions about your rights? The worker’s compensation law firm of Mario Trespalacios, P.A. in Miami, Florida may be able to help you. Contact us today or reach out to USAttorneys.com to get matched with a lawyer at Mario Trespalacios, P.A. today.