COVID-19 – Know Your Rights
Healthcare workers across the country are responding to the unfolding COVID-19 public health emergency.
HPAE, AFT and unions across the country are working to fight for safeguards to our own health and the health of our communities.
If you have concerns regarding COVID-19 health and safety issues at your worksite, please document them using the linked documentation form COVID Safety Checklist and by using the HPAE Story Collector link here.
If you need assistance or have any questions about filling out the attached form, please contact a Union Representative. Please submit the completed attached form to your Management team and copy your Local’staff representative:
Joel Brooks – firstname.lastname@example.org
HPAE Members – KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
You have the right to:
- Receive health & safety training on COVID-19 from your employer and appropriate NIOSH-approved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplied by employer.
- Refuse an assignment provided you can demonstrate that you have a genuine and reasonably based belief that to perform those work duties would put you at risk of contracting COVID-19, and further provided that the employer has failed to provide adequate training, PPE or has failed to take other reasonable measures to mitigate risk.
- Paid leave related to COVID-19.
- Request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should you fall into a high-risk category for COVID-19.
- Claim workers’ compensation if you get COVID-19 from a workplace exposure. Document any and all exposures by filing an incident report. Ask your supervisor for incident reporting form or document it in writing via email. Save a copy for yourself and send it to HPAE. PLEASE DO NOT SHARE PATIENT NAMES OR IDENTIFYING INFO AS PER HIPAA.
The Employer MUST:
- Ensure policies and practices are in place to minimize exposures to respiratory pathogens including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Ensure compliance with social distancing directives when not directly engaged in the provision of essential health care services.
- Provide employees the option to work from home if at all possible.
- Provide health & safety training on COVID-19 and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Fit test employees for N95 respirators for those caring for the patient.
- Keep a facemask on COVID-19 patients.
- Provide workers with face and eye protection for any direct care of patients with (or suspected to have) COVID.
- Track employee exposures and set up quarantine and employee monitoring programs for exposed employees.
The Employer CANNOT:
- Retaliate against you for expressing a concern or filing a complaint or a grievance over COVID-19 exposure.
- Force you to do work for which you have not been adequately trained.
- Interfere with your protected Union activity.
If you see violations of any of the above, please document them and notify HPAE immediately (you should include a list of any out-of-title work that you are being asked to perform).
Take action now by writing to your Representative.
For more resources on COVID-19, please visit the HPAE Coronavirus Resource Page.