Covid-19Healthcare

April 30, 2020

If I need to be tested for the Coronavirus, will I have to pay a deductible or coinsurance?

No.  The Families First Act requires group health plans and insurers, including self-insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health programs, to pay the full cost of any tests for the Coronavirus. DISCLAIMER: This FAQ Sheet is intended to provide accurate, general background information regarding legal rights relating to employment in Maine. It is not legal…

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Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020

Can my employer not pay me if I am sent home early from work, or told not to come in for a scheduled shift?

Unfortunately, under Maine law, employers are only required to pay employees for hours actually worked, so if you are an hourly employee and are sent home early, you need only be paid for the time you worked. Maine law does not require employers to pay employees for reporting or showing up to work if no…

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Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020

What if I become sick at work with symptoms relating to COVID-19? Can my employer send me home?

Yes.  The CDC recommends that employees who become sick with COVID-19 symptoms (such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or fatigue) should be separated from other employees and sent home immediately.  However, you may be entitled to paid leave (see FAQ 3) or a reasonable accommodation (see FAQ 8). DISCLAIMER: This FAQ Sheet is intended…

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Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020

If I have COVID-19, what can my employer tell others about my condition?

Your employer is required by law to keep all medical information about you private and confidential.  It can, however, share your medical information with those who have a “need to know,” but only to the extent necessary.  For example, your employer may need to share with employees in your workplace that another employee has tested…

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Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020

If I traveled to a country affected by coronavirus, can my employer ask me if I was exposed to coronavirus or require me to stay home during the incubation period?

Yes, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that travelers to certain countries stay home for 14 days.  The list of countries may change; refer to the CDC website for further information. DISCLAIMER: This FAQ Sheet is intended to provide accurate, general background information regarding legal rights relating to employment in Maine. It is…

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Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020

Can my employer ask me if I have a health condition (like a compromised immune system) that would be affected by coronavirus?

No. It would be against the law for an employer to ask an employee without symptoms of COVID-19 if they have a medical condition that would make them particularly vulnerable. DISCLAIMER: This FAQ Sheet is intended to provide accurate, general background information regarding legal rights relating to employment in Maine. It is not legal advice….

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Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020

Can my employer require me to submit to a medical screening for the coronavirus?

The Families First Act allows employers to require employees entering the workplace to have their temperature taken.  It also allows employers to ask employees about whether they have any symptoms associated with COVID-19.  DISCLAIMER: This FAQ Sheet is intended to provide accurate, general background information regarding legal rights relating to employment in Maine. It is…

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Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020

The CDC has said that individuals age 60 and older are more vulnerable to the Coronavirus. My employer decided to send everyone older than 60 home without pay to protect them. Is that legal?

Treating older workers less favorably than other employees, even if well-intentioned, can violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the MHRA.   If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of your age, contact an employment discrimination attorney. You may also file a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission directly…

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Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020

Can my employer fire me because I have COVID-19, they suspect I have COVID-19, or someone in my household has COVID-19?

It is illegal for your employer to fire you or otherwise treat you worse than other employees because you have a disability or are regarded as having a disability.  Because COVID-19 may be a disability, it may be illegal for your employer to fire you because you have it or because your employer regards you…

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Covid-19Safety

April 30, 2020

Can my employer terminate me or discipline me for refusing to work in an environment in which there is a high risk of exposure to coronavirus, if I report a risk of exposure, or if I advocate for changes to make my workplace safer?

Under the Maine Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (MWPA), your employer cannot discriminate against you for your good faith report of what you have “reasonable cause to believe is a condition or practice that would put at risk the health or safety of that employee or any other individual.” Therefore, a report you make about a risk…

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Covid-19Safety

April 30, 2020

Is my employer required to provide me with reasonable accommodations related to the Coronavirus?

If you have a compromised immune system or another medical condition impacted by COVID-19 (including mental health conditions like anxiety disorders), your employer may be required to provide you with a reasonable accommodation like telecommuting or protective equipment, unless doing so would cause the employer an undue hardship.   Common cold or seasonal flu symptoms are…

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Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, my employer made assumptions about me or treated me differently than coworkers because I am Asian or from another country. What can I do?

An employer who treats you worse than other workers because of your race, national origin, or ethnic background is violating the law. This includes employer actions that single you out because of negative stereotypes.  Please see pages 19 and 21 of the Southern Maine Workers’ Center’s WORK Manual for more information on race or national…

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