CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19: INFORMATION FOR TEMPORARY WORKERS
The safety and financial security of temp workers and their families must be protected!
Temp agencies are laying off thousands – and sending other needy workers to potentially dangerous assignments in essential industries now operating at high volume, like food processing, warehousing and healthcare.
Many temporary workers are concerned about their safety, feeling that they have no choice but to continue to work. Others are unsure of what benefits, like unemployment insurance and sick leave, are available to them as"temps" if they are laid off or quit for good reason.
We will continue to update this page at as the situation changes, and to share new resources for temp workers as they become available.
PAID SICK LEAVE AND PAID FAMILY LEAVE
Navigating legal rights and benefits is difficult, and varies greatly between states. There has been some expansions of paid sick leave in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and existing laws that workers' can benefit from.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides two weeks of fully paid sick leave, and up to 12 workweeks of 2/3rds paid family leave. Eligibility depends on the size of your employer, NOT your status as a "temporary" worker. Temp workers ARE eligible to collect benefits. Learn more from the US Department of Labor here.
PL+US (Paid Leave for the United States), a national campaign to expand workplace protections, is tracking changes and updating information on paid sick leave laws. California, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington state lead the way, but benefits are not exclusive to those states. View FAQ on Coronavirus Paid Sick Leave from PL+US here.
"Yes, Temp Workers are Eligible to Collect"
Temps who lose work, are laid off from a work assignment, or quit for good reason ARE eligible to collect unemployment insurance. Many states are paying unemployment insurance benefit to workers for COVID-19 related reasons, including:
When an individual cannot work because of a state or local government's stay at home order
When an employer ceases operations due to COVID-19
When an individual is quarantined
When an individual leaves work to provide care for a child or dependent because of school and daycare closures
FILE FOR BENEFITS NOW: Find your state's unemployment website here.
Click to Download - Full Benefits Update
WORKPLACE SAFETY & HEALTH
Your employer is responsible for providing 1) training about exposure routes and protective measures, 2) relevant personal protective equipment (PPE), and 3) for record-keeping of workers who suspect work-related exposure and infection. The National Council for Occupational Safety & Health created Coronavirus @ Work flyers for workers in English and Spanish, as well as a directory of resources about worker rights and protections.
SCREENING FOR CORONAVIRUS BY YOUR EMPLOYER
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces workplace anti-discrimination laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, including the requirement for reasonable accommodation and rules about medical examinations and inquiries. They have provided new guidance to employers about what is allowed during this pandemic.
Yes, your employer can take your temperature.
Yes, your employer can require you to leave the workplace if you are exhibiting symptoms.* (*In Illinois, employers are required to pay a minimum of 4 hours to all workers who report to work, regardless of why they are sent home.)
Answers to other FAQ can be found on the EEOC website here.