What H-2A Workers Should Know About Covid – 19 and Their Labor Rights

This is not legal advice. For a free and confidential consultation with Georgia Legal Services, call us at 1 (800) 537-7496.

How can I find out if I am infected with COVID-19?

If you think you may be infected, or to find out where you can go for COVID-19 testing, you can call the

Georgia Department of Health at (844) 442-2681 COVID-19), or find the closest testing site at dph.georgia.gov/locations/covid-19-testing-site.

How can I get health insurance to pay for my healthcare if I get sick?

H-2A workers are eligible to purchase health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Many would be eligible for government grants to reduce the cost of monthly premiums. For more information go to healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.

Can I get workers’ compensation benefits if I contract COVID-19 at work?

The answer to this question is not yet clear. In general, if you have a work-related injury or illness, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to pay your medical expenses and a portion of wages  you lost if you were unable to work due to that injury or illness. It is not clear if COVID-19 can be considered a work-related injury as it could having contracted the disease outside of work. If you want to find out whether your work-related injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation, contact the Department Georgia Workers’ Compensation Department at 1-800-533-0682, or consult an attorney.

Do I have the right to miss work while I recover from COVID-19, without losing my job?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA, requires certain employers to provide you with paid sick time or medical leave, for reasons related to COVID-19.The right to paid sick time and medical leave of the FFCRA apply only to certain public employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. I mean, if your employer has more than 500 employees, this law does not apply to you.

All covered employer workers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time, for reasons related to COVID-19. If you work for an employer with more than 500 employees, there may be other laws that protect you from losing your job due to illness. For example, the American Act with Disabilities (ADA), protects individuals employees with disabilities from being discriminated against in their employment. For more information, consult an attorney.

I was diagnosed with COVID-19 or I have symptoms, can my employer…

  • Force me to take days off? Yes
  • Require that you provide a letter from a doctor or professional doctor before allowing me to return to work? Yes
  • Delaying my start date after being offered a job? Yes
  • Fire me? It depends. If your COVID-19 diagnosis is a disability and your employer fired you due to the diagnosis, or because of a belief that you have the condition, you you may have a discrimination claim against your employer. For more information, consult an attorney.

Georgia Legal Services Farmoworker Rights Division
Tel. (800) 537-7496, WhatsApp: +1 (912) 245-2806
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