What Does COVID-19 Mean for Your Workplace? – Part II

What Does COVID-19 Mean for Your Workplace? – Part I



Untitled Workplace

The Maine Department of Labor received questions from employers and workers around COVID-19, or coronavirus. Therefore, the Department put together the following resources. The Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) continues to urge all Maine residents to take precautions and follow guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC).

These include:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid shaking hands as a greeting.
  • With unwashed hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
  • Then, throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

More Information from the U.S. & Maine CDC

Resources for Businesses & Employees:

Relevant Labor Law

Maine’s Family Medical Leave laws apply to an employee who worked for the same employer for at least 12 consecutive months. The employee would be entitled to up to 10 workweeks of job-protected unpaid Family Medical Leave in any two years. Unless, employed at a permanent worksite with fewer than 15 employees. Employers may provide paid leave at their discretion.

Maine’s Family Sick Leave

The law states that if an employer provides paid leave, then the employer shall allow them to use the paid leave for the care of an immediate family member who is ill. This law section does not apply to the illness of the employee. Please see the U.S. Department of Labor FAQ About Federal FMLA.

This law gives the employee the right to choose what type of leave they are going to use if their employer provides multiple benefits, such as sick, vacation, or personal with limitations. Larger businesses with 50 or more employees fall under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act laws which provides up to 12 weeks of leave for a qualifying event.

Maine’s Earned Paid Leave Law

This law does not go into effect until January 1, 2021. This law, when in effect, guarantees that those employees who accrued time are paid for accrued time off, up to 40 hours in one year of employment.

Work-Related Illness

If the illness is work-related, the employee and employer should consult with the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board. For more information about the Worker’s Compensation Board, visit maine.gov. For a downloadable copy of this information, please click here.

Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

World Health Organization

Johns’ Hopkins

Additional Blogs

“COVID-19: What Nobody Talks About”

What if I catch COVID-19? What if I am so sick that I can’t pay my bills or make medical decisions for myself? My family doesn’t know how to take care of me. What do I do? If you watch the news, you see the daily reports. Continue reading.

New U.S. House Legislation Related to Coronavirus

This is an update about the recent legislation passed by the US House of Representatives, H.R. 6201, “Families First Coronavirus Response Act.” This could have several different impacts on employers.  Please note that this is just the House legislation. It has not yet been acted on by the Senate. This may change these provisions. Continue reading.

HR 6201 Creates New FMLA Entitlement & Paid Leave for Employees

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, HR 6201, was signed into law last night by the President. There are two components to the law. The following summarizes both sections of the law. We continue to provide updates as they become available. Continue reading.


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