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Coronavirus concerns worry workers who may need to miss work

Workers' compensation can help cover you when you are injured on the job, but what happens when it's not an injury but an illness that strikes? People in San Diego may be interested to know that California's paid sick leave laws do require employers to offer you paid time off.

The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 now requires that employers provide employees with an hour of leave for every 30 hours that they work so long as they work at least 30 hours a year. They can then take that leave whenever they are ill or when they need to take care of someone in their family who is sick.

The coronavirus is testing this system. When people are asked to quarantine themselves and cannot go to work, there is a great deal of financial stress involved. Some companies, like Rides and Platform, have been working to create funds for independent contractors, like Lyft drivers or those working for DoorDash, to be covered for up to two weeks if they cannot work.

The reality is that workers' compensation is unlikely to cover your illness unless it's in direct relation to your job. For example, if you are a treating physician of a patient with the coronavirus, you might get workers' compensation if you fall ill. If you're a teacher, then that compensation is less likely.

Difficult situations like pandemics and epidemics can make people worry about their finances. Some may benefit from seeking workers' compensation, using paid sick time or using other kinds of leave to stay home and rest.

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