While COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, can lead to hospitalization and even death for young and middle-aged adults, it has caused the most severe health issues for adults over the age of 60 — with particularly fatal results for those 80 years and older. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been negatively affecting older workers and resulting in them missing work because of the dangers that are associated with their age group. Due to how contagious and deadly the virus is for the elderly, it is not safe for older employees to be going to work right now. If an older worker needs to take time off due to the COVID-19 virus, they will suffer from a lack of income and will need the government’s support to construct a plan for paid sick leave.
Elderly people are more susceptible to this virus, but they also lack most paid sick leave and work-from-home options. It can also be a challenge for this older generation to take full advantage of technology for work purposes. This is a public health crisis. The government has recommended that any worker who can work from home should do so. Unfortunately, many elderly workers work in the health and service industries that do not have paid leave options. Also, many older workers are caregivers for elderly people who are just as vulnerable.
What can be done?
To help older workers during this time, better legislation needs to be passed, and paid leave needs to be extended to at least a 14-day quarantine. The current legislation that was passed by the House of Representatives attempts to help all workers, but the legislation still needs improvements. The need for paid sick leave and a stimulus package is required to help older workers stay healthy and support themselves financially.
How can older workers protect themselves?
There are many steps we can all take to protect older individuals from getting sick from work or at home. Remember to wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others to improve safety. Social distancing is the most important way to help stop the spread of the virus. If you are in contact with an older worker, stay far apart, and never physically touch each other when greeting. Also, check-in on your older family members, neighbors, and community members to make sure that they have food, supplies, and medication.
Lee Injury Law protects the rights of older workers. If you were denied benefits or were infected by the COVID-19 virus at work, Lee Injury Law will review your case and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If you’re looking for a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney, call us at 803-500-0000 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Columbia, SC, we serve clients throughout the state of South Carolina. Browse our website for more information.