Home / Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update

First Shift remains open and operational during the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on COVID-19 and pregnancy, please see the CDC’s guidelines here. Additional information from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists can be found here.

D.C. PARENTS AND DOMESTIC WORKERS: Hiring an In-Home Caregiver for your Child during the pandemic.

D.C. WORKER HEALTH & SAFETY

  • You are required to wear a mask at work and your employer must provide it.

  • All businesses must post a sign requiring all persons to wear a mask and may exclude persons who are not wearing a mask.

  • Your employer may require you to tell them if you test positive for COVID-19.

  • Your employer may prohibit you from returning to work after testing positive for COVID-19 until you have medical clearance.

  • It is illegal for your boss to retaliate against you:

    • if you test positive for COVID-19;

    • if you refuse to serve or work with a person who refuses to wear a mask; or

    • if you complain that your employer is not enforcing the mask requirement.

  • The D.C. Office of the Attorney General and the Mayor’s Office may investigate businesses who are allegedly violating the law and assess monetary penalties.

EXPANDED RIGHTS FOR WORKERS IN D.C.

 

What Are My Workplace Rights in D.C. Related to COVID-19? (As of April 10, 2020)

 

If…

…can I get paid leave?

…can I get unemployment benefits? *

Additional Information

I have been laid off or my employer has closed down because of COVID-19.

No. You must be employed to receive paid leave. 

Yes, you can receive up to 39 weeks of benefits. You can also receive an additional $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits through July 31, 2020.

You can receive benefits even if you would not usually qualify because you have not been employed for 30 days and/or don’t have work history.

My hours have been reduced because of COVID-19.

No. If you are able to work or telework you are not eligible for paid leave. 

Yes, you can receive up to 39 weeks of benefits to compensate for reduced hours. You can also receive an additional $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits through July 31, 2020.

You can receive benefits even if you would not usually qualify because you have not been employed for 30 days and/or don’t have work history.

I am self-employed, a gig worker, or an independent contractor unable to work due to COVID-19.

No, you do not have any specific rights to paid leave related to COVID-19.

Yes, you can receive up to 39 weeks of benefits. You can also receive an additional $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits through July 31, 2020 under emergency laws related to COVID-19, even though you are normally not eligible for unemployment benefits. 

 

I am pregnant and am concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 at work.

No, you do not have any specific rights to paid leave related to COVID-19 based on your pregnancy but may be eligible if you are ordered by a medical provider to stay home. (see below).

If you are advised to stay home by a medical professional or public health official, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. You may also be entitled to benefits if you quit because your employer is not observing safety guidelines.

If you work in DC or have a high-risk/complicated pregnancy you may be entitled to reasonable accommodations at work, as recommended by a medical provider, to limit your exposure to COVID-19.

I am in a high-risk group and am concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 at work.

No, you do not have any specific rights to paid leave related to COVID-19 but may be eligible if you are ordered to stay home by a doctor or government official. (see below)

If you are advised to stay home by a medical professional or public health official, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. You may also be entitled to benefits if you quit because your employer is not observing safety guidelines.

You may be entitled to reasonable accommodations at work, as recommended by a medical provider, to limit your exposure to COVID-19. 

I have been ordered to stay at home by the government or my medical provider because of COVID-19.

Yes, if your employer has fewer than 500 employees, it may be required to give you 2 weeks of job-protected paid leave at your regular pay or minimum wage, whichever is higher. 

If your employer has at least 500 employees or you are ordered to stay home for more than 2 weeks, you may be entitled to unpaid, job-protected leave under the DCFMLA.

Yes, but not while you are also receiving paid leave from your employer. If you do not qualify for paid leave or are ordered to stay at home beyond your paid leave, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits.

If you become seriously ill (e.g. if you are hospitalized), you may be entitled to additional unpaid job-protected leave under the DC FMLA. 

 

You may also be entitled to workers’ compensation if you were exposed to COVID-19 at work.

I need to care for a relative who has been ordered to stay at home by the government or a medical provider because of COVID-19.

Yes, if your employer has fewer than 500 employees in the U.S., your employer may be required to give you 2 weeks of job-protected leave with partial pay. If your employer has 50 or more employees and you have been employed for at least 15 days, you can receive full pay.

 

If your employer has at least 500 employees or your relative is ordered to stay home for more than 2 weeks, you may be entitled to unpaid, job-protected leave under the DCFMLA.

Yes, but not while you are also receiving paid leave from your employer. If you do not qualify for paid leave or are unable to work because of the need to care for a relative beyond your paid leave, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits.

If your relative becomes seriously ill (e.g. if they are hospitalized) and you need to care for them, you may be entitled to additional unpaid job-protected leave under the DC FMLA.

 

You may substitute available sick time or PTO to compensate for reduced pay. 

I am concerned about going to work because I live with someone who is high-risk.

No, you do not have any specific rights to paid leave related to COVID-19, but you may be eligible if you or your high-risk relative has been ordered to stay at home by the government or a medical provider (see above). 

You may be eligible for unemployment benefits, but we are waiting for guidance from the D.C. government.  You are eligible if you or your relative are ordered to stay home by the government or a medical provider and you are not receiving paid leave. 

 

I need to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19.

Yes, if your employer has fewer than 500 employees, your employer may be required to give you 2 weeks of job-protected with partial pay.  If your employer has 50 or more employees and you have been employed for at least 15 days, you can receive full pay.

 

If you have been employed for 30 days or more, you may be entitled to a total of 12 weeks of leave with partial pay. 

Yes, but not while you are also receiving paid leave from your employer. If you do not qualify for paid leave or need more than 12 weeks off to care for your child, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits.

You may substitute available sick time or PTO during unpaid leave or to compensate for reduced pay. 

*You must be legally authorized to work in the United States to receive unemployment benefits.

Click here for a printable version

Haga clic aquí para una versión imprimible

Click here for a fact sheet on expanded rights to family and medical leave during the COVID-19 crisis

Haga clic aquí para obtener una hoja informative sobre los derechos ampliados de licensia familiar y médica durante la crisis de COVID-19

 

EXPANDED RIGHTS FOR MARYLAND WORKERS

 

 

EXPANDED FEDERAL WORKER PROTECTIONS

 

 

LEGAL RESOURCES

 

 

UNPAID WAGES/WORKER'S COMPENSATION ISSUES

For issues related to unpaid wages or workers’ compensation, contact  Workers’ Rights Clinic via phone (202) 319-1000 or email clinic@washlaw.org to schedule a telephonic intake appointment.

 

PUBLIC BENEFITS
  • For new applications for SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, Alliance or other public benefits, please go to dhs.dc.gov or visit our Service Centers to pick up a blank application. Applicants can drop off completed applications for benefits at DHS Service Centers. If you have additional questions, call (202) 727-5355.

  • If you are experiencing issues in receiving your public benefits, contact The Legal Aid Society of DC at (202) 628-1161 or submit an online request for legal assistance here.

 

HOUSING
  • Landlords are prohibited from carrying out evictions or collecting late fees during the public health emergency. 

  • Utility providers are prohibited from disconnecting electric, gas, and water service during the public health emergency.

  • For legal assistance with housing issues, please contact:

    • The Legal Aid Society of DC at (202) 628-1161 or submit an online request for legal assistance here.

    • Bread for the City at (202)386-7616

 

OTHER

Click here for a printable version

Haga clic aquí para una versión imprimible

 

 

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS

 

Emergency Childcare for Children of Essential Workers

 

Washington D.C.

 
– All childcare facilities will be closed except for 6 emergency locations for the children of healthcare professionals at Ballou High, Marie Reed Elementary, Noyes Elementary, School Without Walls at Francis Stevens, Simon Elementary, and the United Planning Organization (UPO) Edgewood Child Development Center.
– If you need assistance with My Child Care DC or with locating child care, please contact DC Child Care Connections, DC’s Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency, at (202) 829-2500 or OSSE.DCchildcareconnections@dc.gov
 

Maryland

 
– Childcare providers will remain open only to children of essential employees. If you are unsure if you qualify as an essential employee, please contact First Shift and we will help you figure it out.
– Visit the Maryland Public Schools website for list of locations, or call LOCATE: Child Care Referral Specialists to help you select the best child care option for your family at (Toll-Free) 877-261-0060.
 

Virginia

 
– Childcare is available to first responders and essential personnel. Search for child care near you at vachildcare.com or call 1-866-KIDS TLC.

 

 

RESOURCES FOR SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

 

FOOD RESOURCES

 

 

RESOURCES FOR THE UNDOCUMENTED COMMUNITY

 

 

RESOURCES FOR DOMESTIC WORKERS

For a comprehensive guide of non-legal resources, please visit the Legal Aid Society of DC’s Covid-19 Non-Legal Resource Guide or the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless’ Covid-19 Resource Guide.

Contact us for free legal assistance regarding your workplace rights during this public health emergency.

240-241-0897 or intake@firstshift.org.

Click here for a printable version

Translate »