Employees and Coronavirus

Employee Health

Implement a screening program for COVID-19 symptoms

You should screen all employees before letting them enter your business. The following questions can be used to screen for COVID-19:

If the employee answers YES to either question, they should not be at work and should stay home.

Employees with lab-confirmed COVID-19

An employee with a positive test for COVID-19 will get a call from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). MDH will provide them with next steps and help them identify other people that may have been exposed.

If MDH identifies that coworkers and others may have been exposed in the workplace, they will work with the Minneapolis Health Department, the impacted employees, and the employer to make sure everyone has information on what to do.

Employees with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, but no confirmed test

If an employee develops symptoms consistent with a respiratory infection - fever, cough, muscle aches, sore throat, and headache - the employee should do the following:

If the employer thinks that the employee may have exposed coworkers and others in the workplace, they should call the Minneapolis Health Department to discuss what to do.

When can the employee return to work?

For example, if the employee has a fever and coughing for four days, the employee needs to stay home three more days with no fever, and no use of medication for a total of seven days. Or, if the employee has a fever and coughing for five days, the employee needs to stay home three more days with no fever for a total of eight days.

Questions

Employee Sick Leave

Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time

Under the City’s sick and safe time ordinance, employers with six or more workers are required to provide time off at a minimum threshold of at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers with five or fewer workers must also provide sick time, but it may be unpaid.
An employee's accrued sick and safe time hours are legally protected for their use due to coronavirus symptoms, testing or infection, both for the employee and for the employee to care for a covered family member, including for:

For more details on how sick and safe time can be used during the coronavirus outbreak, read the frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the sick and safe time ordinance on sicktimeinfo.minneapolismn.gov

Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which took effect April 1, 2020, includes Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family Leave for all private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Employees are eligible for up to two weeks (or 10 days) of paid sick leave, subject to an 80-hour cap for full-time employees.

View fact sheets and questions & answers from the U.S. Department of Labor, and view further information from the NFIB.

Safety requirements in the workplace during COVID-19

In order to reopen, any non-critical sector business or retail establishment must have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in place to protect the health and safety of their workers.

Unemployment Insurance

By executive order, an increased number of workers have access to unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. You are now also eligible for unemployment benefits if:

Self-employed, independent contractors and others

DEED has begun making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to people who are self-employed, independent contractors and others who were not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.

How to apply

You are strongly encouraged to apply for unemployment online. The online system is available Sunday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Additional Resources

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid: Find updates on court cases and advice for people with questions about housing, safety, health, unemployment benefits, etc. during this time. 

Last updated Dec 17, 2020

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