Got sick during the pandemic? This new tool helps figure out if you can get paid sick time

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- As Coronavirus cases continue to rise, a new tool was released to help employees determine if they qualify for paid sick leave.

If your employer doesn't offer paid sick leave, that doesn't mean you can't get it. Lawmakers passed a bill months ago allowing people who test COVID-19 positive to stay home, and get paid.

But it might be confusing to figure out who qualifies.

That's why the U.S. Department of Labor created a tool. All you have to do is answer a handful of questions, and in minutes, you can figure out how much money you could receive, and how to get it.

Brooke Coffey works in an industry that interacts with the public. However, the Baytown woman said right now, it's not for everybody.

"I work in the restaurant industry," Coffey said. "So, they don't want to be around people who aren't following the law with no masks, or anything like that."

She said she doesn't want to be around people because workers don't want to get sick. As many state and city leaders have said, coronavirus cases are spiking in the Houston area.

For those who work with the public, there's growing concern about what happens if they get ill.

"What happens if they do get sick?" Coffey asked. "What actually happens?"

The recently-launched tool could give answers to Coffey and her coworkers as they work during the pandemic.

"I know a few people at my job who aren't coming back to work because they don't want to be around people," Coffey said.

If you want to see if you're eligible, just head to the U.S. Department of Labor website, and click on the COVID-19 and the workplace section.

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