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Companies, federal government addressing issue of sick leave amid coronavirus

What if you're living paycheck to paycheck and are asked to stay home?
Credit: KAGS

BRYAN, Texas — You’ve been hearing this a lot lately, but experts recommend if you’re feeling symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home, self quarantine and don’t work. 

But what if you’re someone who’s living paycheck to paycheck? Staying home prevent you from paying bills and providing for your family. 

Some companies and the federal government are working to address those concerns.

Home depot and Aldi have been doing so since before the coronavirus outbreak began. 

Since this has all happened, Walmart announced their employees who’ve contracted the virus or have been put on mandatory quarantine can get up to two weeks paid leave. 

Uber and Lyft have both said they’ll give financial assistance to those who need to be isolated, Uber’s policy specified that help will be given for up to 14 days. 

Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, said all hourly employees can get permanent sick benefits. 

Their sick leave accrues at one hour for every 30 hours worked.

There’s even more at work on a national level.

Over the weekend, the House of Representatives voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

With bi-partisan support and support from President Trump, the legislation would give two weeks of paid sick leave at 100 percent of normal salary, with a $511 cap. 

It would also give up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave at 67 percent of the person’s normal pay, up to a $200 per day cap.

That’s all for small and midsize companies, those with under 50 employees can apply for a waiver for paid family leave. 

Companies with more than 500 employees will just go from their own policies. 

That legislation needs to be approved by the senate and signed by trump first though. 

The senate will vote on the the families first coronavirus response act on Friday.