KKTV recently posted on Facebook asking for viewers and followers to ask legal questions surrounding COVID-19. On April 1st, David McDivitt joined Dianne Derby to answer some of those questions.
If you are working from home and no longer need daycare, but will need it when everything goes back to normal, should you pay the same price or a high price to hold the spot when the kid is not even there?
At the end of the day this is going to depend on the facility or provider to decide how they will go about this. If you have a contract and are obligated to pay but aren’t receiving the services you are paying for, that is something you are going to have to negotiate with the facility or licensed provider.
Can parents hold kids from the other parent because of the current stay-at-home order?
No, the governor was explicit in his order to permit travelling to facilitate specific situations. In this case, travel to transition a child to the parent with custody would be allowed. If there is a concern such as the other parent being sick, the courts are still open to hear emergency motions.
Are landlords and/or mortgage companies allowed to start any type of eviction process at this time?
Right now, there is nothing prohibiting landlords from beginning the eviction process. There are two major roadblocks for a landlord trying to evict someone though. The first being that the courts are closed for most business right now and secondly the governor has ordered that law enforcement not participate in any eviction proceedings. The governor has also strongly suggested to landlords to not begin an eviction process and give tenants until the end of April to see where things stand at that time.
When it comes to mortgages it is a bit different. The federal government is putting any foreclosures on hiatus during this period, for any mortgages they back. Housing and Urban Development has been instructed not to pursue any foreclosure actions on any FHA loans.
What kind of legal responsibility does an employer have to notify its’ employees that one of its’ staff has been presumed positive (COVID-19)? Do those co-workers then have a legal obligation to self-quarantine to protect fellow workers and the public? When does the employer become legally obligated to inform the public?
Employers are not legally obligated to inform the public. However, if the employer has an employee test positive for COVID-19 they must prohibit that employee from coming into work. The employer needs to find out who that employee had close contact with in the prior two weeks to diagnosis or symptoms. The employer must tell those team members that had close contact, that someone they had been interacting with has been diagnosed with the virus. The employer is not allowed to provide the name of the infected person. Employers must follow the various guidelines provided by OSHA and the CDC, otherwise that is where the employer can get into trouble.
For more answers to your legal questions during this health crisis, please see these other appearances on KKTV: