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Attorney explains your rights for sick leave during COVID-19 pandemic

When it comes to how and when you can have time off from work if you have pre-existing conditions, questions arise

MEMPHIS, Tennessee —

The CDC warns older adults and anyone with serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness with COVID-19. So, what are your rights if an employer asks for medical information in order for you to take time off? Civil trial attorney Kevin Snider of Snider & Horner explained with things changing every day there's even some uncertainty with the law.

"We’re kind of what I would call uncharted territory in the legal system now," Snider said.

He explained you are entitled to sick leave and possibly other benefits if you get COVID-19. If you have a pre-existing condition but aren't showing symptoms of the virus, you might need proof from a doctor or you can't qualify for sick leave.

"A doctor's note can be required if you are calling in sick typically to verify that you are sick and you can’t come in," Snider said.

Snider predicts there will be a lot of lawsuits once the virus dies down. He said if you contract the virus from a co-worker, you could possibly file for workers' compensation.

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"If you got infected during the course of your employment how would that be any different if you got hurt or some type of other diseases in the course of your employment," Snider said.

Snider said you are entitled to two weeks of pay if you are forced to quarantine. However, as this pandemic evolves, a lot could still change.

"The devil is always in the details," Snider said. "We are in such uncharted territory and we’ll be there for quite some time even once things get back to normal."