- 12 February 2021
What can I do if I get COVID-19 on the Job?
COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc throughout the nation. Governments are doing what they can to bring it under control. But proactive action by everyone, including companies, is required to get the pandemic under control. Companies have been given a great deal of flexibility to balance the needs of their business and the protection of their employees. Not all companies have done so. Some have disregarded the health and safety of their employees and gone back to business as usual.
If you have contracted COVID-19 and you believe it was the fault of your employer, then you can seek compensation from them. In most instances, you will need to first file a workers’ compensation claim. However, other legal options may be available to you. In fact, your first move should be to contact an Elizabeth NJ workers compensation lawyer. As everyone knows by now, COVID-19 is a debilitating illness that can have long-term health effects. You will need to deal with both the short-and-long-term expenses of catching the virus. An Elizabeth workers comp attorney can help you recoup some of these costs and get you justice.
You Should Consider Settling for Workers’ Compensation
Worker’s comp is an exclusive remedy. If you claim the benefit and you are approved, then you will get the expenses associated with your illness paid. On the other hand, you will not be able to sue your employer. You should seriously consider accepting workers’ comp if you have suffered only mild symptoms from the virus and no one else in your family or social circle was infected. Before you make a final decision, you should consult with an Elizabeth NJ work accident lawyer. Workers compensation lawyers NJ will be able to lay out the advantages and disadvantages of accepting worker’s comp benefits.
If Your Employer Failed to Protect Workers from Exposure
It may be possible to successfully sue your employer if they failed to take reasonable steps to minimize your exposure to COVID-19. Such measures should include:
- Providing adequate face masks, plexiglass barriers, and other PPE in the workplace
- Enforcing social distancing rules
- Regularly and thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the workplace, especially areas that are heavily trafficked and surfaces that are constantly touched
The torts law concerning COVID-19 is still evolving. In some states, lawsuits against employers who have failed to protect their people against the virus have been allowed to move forward. In other states, such lawsuits are regularly dismissed. Whether your suit is successful depends largely on the specifics of the case. In some of the most egregious instances of employer disregard for worker safety, judges have refused to accept motions to dismiss the case.
Legal Strategies for Getting Compensation
Employees who want to sue their employer for Coronavirus-related illness face many obstacles. However, there are a number of ways to get the money you deserve. Here are some of the legal avenues you can pursue:
1. A public nuisance suit
Some employees have sued their employers under public-nuisance laws. These individuals contend that their employers endangered the entire community by failing to take basic safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The plaintiffs have requested that the court order their employers to put in such safeguards. They have also sought compensation for what they have suffered and endured.
2. Wrongful termination
It is also possible to sue your employer for a whistle-blower violation if you were fired for complaining about the lack of masks, hand sanitizer, and other protective equipment. Other employees have sued after their employers fired them for refusing to work in violation of shelter-in-place orders. If you think you have a COVID-related case against your employer, Elizabeth personal injury lawyers can help. You should speak to Elizabeth employment discrimination attorney Ashton E. Thomas.