Side Effects of the Coronavirus

Side Effects of the Coronavirus

POSTED BY devind . June 19, 2020

The “Other” Side Effects of the Coronavirus.

After months of staying at home and social distancing, most of us are longing for the day we can safely work and play together. As a nation, we are struggling with health vs. economics. But if there is one silver lining in all of this, it has been seeing so many people selflessly “loving thy neighbors.” From our frontline workers, and grocery clerks to those stepping up to buy food and necessities for our most vulnerable.

However, there are and always will be bad players – opportunists. Beyond wearing masks and washing hands, be aware of the following:

Scams

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the United States, phone scammers have seized the opportunity to prey on consumers.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received reports of scam text-message campaigns and robocalls offering free home testing kits, promoting bogus cures, selling healthcare, and preying on virus-related fears.

All of us need to remain vigilant. The following tips could help protect you from coronavirus scams:

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you’re being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren’t hacked.
  • Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating.

For more information about scam calls and texts, visit the FCC Consumer Help Center. You can also file a complaint about such scams at fcc.gov/complaints.

The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration have also posted consumer warnings about fake websites and phishing emails used to promote bogus COVID-19 products.

Vaccines

We want to be clear that Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, is by no means forecasting and/or fearmongering. However, based on the historical experience of other epidemics, there may be reason to be wary of profiteering by pharmaceutical companies if and when a vaccine emerges. We are all anxious for a breakthrough, but it must be available to everyone and it must be safe.

Employment

The impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented. The economic fallout continues, and, in many instances, employers simply have no choice but to conduct mass layoffs due to the lack of business/revenue. While difficult for most, these employers have legitimate reasons for doing so.

Sadly, there will always be a small subset of employers that will take advantage of the situation – those that don’t necessarily need to conduct layoffs. However, they will still lay off protected class employees (over 40). In this scenario, there is no legitimate business need driving the termination but an opportunity to let go of older employees who often have higher salaries. Or the employer is concerned that older employees may trigger additional costs in terms of insurance or paid time off because of their susceptibility to COVID-19.

The question is, how do courts make this call? The answer to this question centers on how an employee can prove that the employer’s reasons were just a mask for illegal behavior.

This is a difficult time for employees and companies around the country. Most of them will do everything they can to work together and pull through this as best as possible. If, however, you are an older employee and find yourself laid off as part of a targeted reduction in force, then you may want to consult with an experienced employment lawyer.

At Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, we do not practice employment law, however we are advocates of peoples’ rights. Please take care of yourself. If you need us, we continue to be working. There is a lot of focus on the pandemic, but our clients need their benefits perhaps now more than ever. Areas of practice include Personal Injury, Social Security benefits and Veterans disability. To learn more about our firm, visit jandils.com or call us at 877.526.3457.

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