What happens when vulnerable employees return to workplaces?

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Getting through the coronavirus crisis is tough for everyone. But there are particular challenges for older and medically vulnerable employees who must start showing up at work. Learn more in the latest edition of our business newsletter:

Good morning. I’m Rachel Schnalzer, the L.A. Times Business section’s audience engagement editor, back with our weekly newsletter about how you and your bank account can weather the pandemic and prepare for whatever the economy might look like on the other side.Tips for how you and your finances can get through the pandemic.

If you’re especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, what options do you have when your workplace reopens?If you’re a worker who has an underlying medical condition or is older — in your 60s, let’s say — you do have protections under federal law. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes or asthma, those are considered disabilities under the Americans With Disabilities Act. The act allows you to ask your employer for reasonable accommodations to do your job.

However, at least according to attorneys on employers’ side, there isn’t a law that entitles employees to a workplace where they have a 0% chance of catching the coronavirus. Advocates for workers and employers are trying to deal with a situation that’s novel, and there isn’t necessarily a law that directly applies to this situation.Advertisement

While the ADA requires employers to provide workers a reasonable accommodation, sometimes an employee may feel it’s inadequate and may want to take personal leave. An employee can also be moved to a safer job. However, if a vulnerable employee is not performing any job, there is no requirement that an employer needs to retain that employee on the payroll forever.Yes.


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At risk people need to wear N95 masks.

What's gonna happen?! the answer is pretty easy they will be the ones that will get hit by this virus and since they are older and more vulnerable they won't be properly cared for and they will die.

Our overlords dont care.

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