Can I lose my job if I need to take time off due to COVID?

It depends. As of February 7, 2022, employers are required to exclude employees that tested positive for COVID-19 from the workplace until at least 24 hours have passed without a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, the COVID-19 symptoms have improved, AND at least 10 days have passed since the COVID-19 symptoms first appeared. Employers should also exclude employees that came in close contact with another employee who tested positive for COVID-19 from the workplace until the same conditions have been met. If the employee does not present any symptoms they may be able to return sooner so long as certain conditions are met. 

 

If you are excluded from work for either of the above reasons, your employer should continue to pay you and give you all other employee rights and benefits as if you were not excluded from work. However, if you came into close contact with someone outside of the workplace who tested positive for COVID-19, there may be limitations on when your employer is required to pay you if you take time off because of the close contact. 

 

If your employer has 26 or more employees, they are required to provide employees with COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave. COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave is available to employees from January 1, 2022, until September 30, 2022, and can cover up to 80 hours of leave for COVID-19-related reasons. More information about when you can use COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave is available here and here.

 

If your employer excludes you from the workplace (see above), the employer may not require the use of 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave before providing exclusion pay. You cannot be fired or retaliated against for taking COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave if you are eligible for the leave. 

More information about other paid leave that may be available is on our page about Can I get paid leave from work to have a baby, care for a family member, or due to COVID?

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