COVID-19 cases have dropped significantly in New York over the last few months, but we're still not in the clear yet. Recently, New York has still had hundreds of new cases per day.
New York is currently in Phase 4 of its loosening of COVID-19 restrictions. That means several businesses have reopened under strict social distancing guidelines. While this is good news, the situation can get worse again if people aren't careful.
Some workers are willing to risk infecting others
Not all people take the risk of infecting others into consideration. According to a recent survey commissioned by Thermalcheck, a manufacturer of no-contact temperature check stations, one out of four workers are willing to show up to work while sick. Some even stated that the severity of their symptoms didn't matter. The survey of 2,000 U.S. workers was conducted by marketing research company OnePoll.
The primary reasons why survey participants said they would show up to work while sick include:
- Pressure from their bosses to do so
- The feeling of guilt for missing work
The survey also found that:
- 33% of participants would attend work while sick so they don't miss being around their coworkers and engaging in office banter and gossip.
- More than a third don't consider their coworkers' health when showing up to work sick.
- 52% said they would show up to work even if they had a severe stomach ache.
- 40% said they would show up to work with a bad cough.
- 33% said they would show up to work with chest tightness.
- 40% said that sickening another coworker is the consequence of being seen as a hard worker.
Am I eligible for workers' compensation if I become sick with COVID-19 on the job?
COVID-19 can have some overlapping symptoms with the common cold and flu. For some people the symptoms can be far worse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they generally include:
- A cough
- A fever or chills
- Chest tightness or shortness of breath
- Headache and body aches
- Stomach issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Loss of taste and/or smell
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
If a coworker showed up to work with these symptoms, it's best to keep your distance. COVID-19 is very efficient at spreading from person to person, especially in indoor work environments. In some cases, those who are infected don't show any signs or symptoms, but can still spread the virus to others.
If you were infected with COVID-19 while at work, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits while you recover. It's important that you first notify your employer if you start to experience symptoms. Then, call your doctor immediately to schedule a medical appointment. If your case is minor, it's possible that you may recover after about two weeks.
To learn about how to get compensation for medical expenses and wage loss during your recovery, contact an experienced New York workers' compensation attorney at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP Attorneys At Law. We serve clients in NYC and across the state.
We also offer remote legal consultations for clients who have been sickened with COVID-19. Your consultation can be conducted via Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, phone, or text.