As a part-time nurse at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Megan Murphy has twice been forced to take a leave from work this summer while waiting to get tested for COVID-19.
On both occasions, Murphy had good reason to believe she’d been exposed to the virus and stayed home, as required by hospital policies, to limit spread of the disease. Each time, it took four to five days to line up an appointment and get the results.
Both tests came back negative. But a snafu delayed the results of Murphy’s first test and left her without enough paid time off to cover her second leave. As a result, she lost two days’ pay and has no sick time left.
“I’m still going to be honest” in disclosing future exposures, she said. “But my concern is, what happens when people can’t afford to have two days unpaid, and they no