Solve It 7: Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

(WHDH) — With the stay-at-home advisory still in effect for Massachusetts, essential employees are supposed to be the only ones working. But what about non-essential workers whose boss is trying to force them to come in to work?

“The boss can ask you to come in and do outside work,” says 7News legal expert Bob Harnais. “But you should never go in if it’s going to be an unsafe environment. Can they force you to go in there? Not at this time they can’t.”

We’ve also heard from many viewers with rental questions. Rent in Boston isn’t cheap and residents pay a lot of money for their apartments. Some apartments come with attractive amenities like swimming pools and fitness centers. All of those extra features are now off-limits due to the coronavirus pandemic. One renter reached out to us wondering if they had a right to get their rent reduced due to these restrictions. Unfortunately not, says Harnais.

“They don’t have a right to get it reduced,” Bob says. “The amenities are above and beyond the fact that they can live there, but this goes back to working together. One thing we have to do is tenants have to start working with their landlords, landlords have to start working with their tenants.”

New Englanders love their sports and some spend a lot of money on tickets. A 7News viewer purchased season tickets to a local sports team for next season, before the pandemic struck. He has since lost his job and can’t afford the tickets anymore. Our viewer says the team won’t let him cancel.

“Most teams, like the Red Sox for instance, they’re giving you a credit for next year’s game[s] or giving you the money back for this year’s games,” says Bob. “[The viewer] signed a contract in order to buy tickets. He has to purchase the tickets. You can’t back away from the contract.”

From sporting events to leisure travel, the coronavirus has impacted huge parts of both industries. In the cruise industry, ships aren’t sailing. We heard from a local family who had to cancel their trip. They say the cruise line told them they’d have a refund within 45 days, but six weeks later, they’re still waiting. Now, the company is claiming it could take another one to two months to get their money back.

“The companies should refund their money within a certain period of time,” says Harnais. “Unfortunately, everybody’s in the same predicament here. They’re going to get their money. If they bring suit, it’s probably going to take longer. I would give them a couple more months.”

Do you have a coronavirus-related question you’d like us to look into? Send us an email at or give us a call at 617-367-7777.

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