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Not working due to coronavirus closures? What are your protections?

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Some 60,000 Culinary Union members are without a job today. Countless others across Las Vegas and Southern Nevada are facing the same. While many companies have offered to pay employees during the 20-day closure, some haven’t.

News 3 has received your emails and your questions. The Culinary Union said it’s in talks, demanding pay for all their members. However, that only accounts for unionized employees, not those “at-will.”

“We’re the people who cook the meals, serve the foods, make the drinks, make the beds, make your food at the airport and dish up food and clean in general,” UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor said on a press call.

UNITE HERE is calling on the federal government for a stimulus package to help hospitality workers.

“Our industry has been devastated by this current crisis,” Taylor said.

RELATED | State encourages online unemployment claims filing, publishes video instructions

The Culinary Union is commending companies like MGM, Caesars, Wynn, The Cosmopolitan and Tropicana for promising to pay workers during the 30-day shutdown. The union also promised members extended health care coverage and job protection when business resumes.

However, other nonunion employees are facing a difficult challenge.

“That’s vastly different than at-will employees,” explained Las Vegas attorney Matthew Hoffman with Battle Born Injury Lawyers. “The only protection they’re going to have is any accrued sick leave. They can use that up, and then they’re looking at unemployment.”

Applying for unemployment benefits could help, along with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows employees to receive paid sick leave for quarantines and even school closures.

However, Hoffman said it won’t help everyone.

“The families first act only applies to a narrow scope of businesses, those with less than 500 employees and more than 50,”said Hoffman.

The bottom line is, there’s no guarantee of pay if you’re not on the job due to the coronavirus closures.