Wrongfully Terminated Because of Covid-19?

Updated: 3 days ago

You might have a wrongful termination case against your employer after being terminated for taking medical leave or reporting unsafe working conditions.


Most of the reports surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has centered on layoffs—and understandably so, considering the high unemployment rates. But a less-visible issue has been the workers who were wrongfully terminated for reasons related to the pandemic. Depending on the situation, some employees in California will be considering to sue their previous employers for what's known as "wrongful termination".

Many jobs in California are "at will," which ensures that your employer doesn't need an excuse to terminate you. However, certain grounds for dismissing workers are unconstitutional and against the law. This article explores some of the most frequent reasons employees have been terminated since the COVID-19 pandemic—and looks at which ones could be considered as wrongful termination.



Your Right to Days Off Work Because of COVID-19


If you have to skip work for any reasons relevant to COVID-19, you have the right under the law to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Few states have parental and sick leave policies that are more generous than federal legislation.


Your company can not fire you if you're out on FMLA leave, as long as you haven't gone past the time limit. States with family and medical leave laws usually offer the same benefit. It's still illegal to terminate you only because you asked or took leave under either federal or state law.


Can You Be Terminated for Demanding a COVID-Related Disability Accommodation?


You could have legal rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) if it weren't possible for you to work at your usual job site because of a medical condition that renders you more vulnerable to COVID-19.


Your employer should provide you with suitable accommodations—such as encouraging you to operate remotely or modifying your workspace layout—as long as it wouldn't cause unnecessary inconvenience or conflict with your ability to do your job. You could argue for illegal disability discrimination if you were dismissed rather than allowed a fair accommodation.


Even though employees over 65 are also more likely to get severely sick from COVID-19, age isn't considered a deficiency under the ADA. That means your employer doesn't have to make extra accommodations for you only because you're older. However, it would be unethical age discrimination for management to terminate you because your age made you more vulnerable to the infection.

Can you be terminated in California for getting COVID-19?


Not while you're actually on leave (as discussed above) (as discussed above). But what if you should back to work but still have symptoms or still test positive? And if a serious case of the disease will possibly be called a disability, the ADA doesn't require accommodations for staff who pose a clear danger to colleagues' welfare. However, if you could do your work from home—which wouldn't risk other employees—it could very well be illegal to terminate you.

Will You Be Fired For Moaning About Lack of PPE or Other Unhealthy Conditions?


You could have a lawsuit for wrongful termination if you were fired because you protested about your employer's inability to include personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, or to take other steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at your workplace. Several California and federal regulations (often dubbed "whistleblower" statutes) shield workers from harassment for voicing health and safety issues.


Under the federal Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) as well as certain California laws, employers must have workplaces that are free of known hazards—and it's wrong to fire workers because they reported or filed a complain regarding unsafe conditions in the workplace.

The federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) also safeguards employees against harassment complaints about unfair work practices. However, the NLRA doesn't allow employees to impose the law with a private lawsuit; instead, the National Labor Relations Board can order employers to pay fines, fix unsafe conditions, or reinstate workers who've been dismissed in violation of the law.

Can You Be Fired for Refusing to Work Due to the Danger of Contracting COVID-19?


Under the OSH Act, you will have the right to refuse to operate under unsafe circumstances. However, you're safe from wrongful termination for taking this move only if:

  • you sincerely feel that the working conditions constitute a "imminent danger" (an urgent possibility of death or severe physical harm), and a rational individual will accept

  • you told management about the threat

  • the employer didn't fix the problem; and

  • the danger is so critical that there isn't time to inspect the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

It's not clear whether courts will view a chance of exposure to COVID-19 as an immediate threat. Even if they did, it would be difficult to satisfy any of these requirements. For starters, it would actually be legal for your manager to fire you if you didn't want to come back to your office after closure orders were lifted, merely because you were concerned about catching the virus from colleagues. (It's still not clear if you will be liable for unemployment compensation if you're fired for this reason; read all about unemployment benefits when you're fired.)

Constructive Unfair Termination: Should You Be Compelled to Resign Because of the COVID-19 Risk?

In certain states, you might be entitled to sue for what's known as "constructive" unfair firing if you were effectively compelled to resign because your boss failed to take appropriate action to protect you from exposure to COVID-19. California acknowledges this type of wrongful termination where your employer deliberately created or permitted working conditions that violated public policies that were so unacceptable that any fair person in your job would have left.

Will You Be Fired for Refusing to Operate in Breach of COVID-19 Emergency Orders?


It's unconstitutional for your boss to fire you for refusing to commit an illegal act—like going to work in defiance of an order in your state, city, or county that forced all nonessential companies to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Will You Be Fired for Filing a Workers' Comp Petition for COVID-19?


Under California workers' compensation rules, it's still unlawful to dismiss you in retribution for making a workers' comp claim—regardless of if you're eventually eligible to obtain workers' comp insurance for COVID-19.

Seeking a Legal Assistance for Wrongful Termination


If you feel that you were wrongfully terminated for an unlawful cause, you can talk with an employment lawyer in Los Angeles about your legal rights. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed several complex legal questions that don't yet have resolved solutions. But a wrongful termination lawyer who's specialized in this field should be able to clarify how the law could relate to your case, whether you have a legitimate argument for wrongful termination.


It may help to know that California wrongful termination lawyers usually work on a contingency basis in these types of lawsuits, which means that they're paid a percentage of any amount you receive in a wrongful termination settlement or court award—and they aren't paid if you don't win anything.


How Do I Request An Unbiased Referral To A Pre-Screened, Ethical California Wrongful Termination Lawyer?

  1. You can submit a request online 24 hours a day. Free case review within 15 minutes.

  2. By chat, you'll be connected with a Los Angeles employment lawyer specialized in California wrongful termination within 5 minutes.

  3. By calling the employee right's 24-hour hotline at 1-661-310-7999

Articles related to California wrongful termination claims:

​​

Everything you need to know about California workers compensation claims (2021 Guide For Employees)

Gender discrimination in the workplace

How do I prove age discrimination at work?

Disability discrimination in the workplace, a guide for employees

Discrimination against pregnant employees, how to report it

Sexual harassment at work and the #metoo movement

California employee rights 2021

Wrongful termination laws 2021

Employment lawyer referrals

Genetic information discrimination

Filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral And Information Service

1000Attorneys.com is a California Bar Certified and approved Lawyer Referral and Information Service.

 

This is a public service that helps members of the public find competent, ethical and pre-screened local California lawyers and receive general information about common legal issues.

 

Accessing information via our site is free and there is no charge to get a lawyer referral or for legal consultations. 

Our History 


Established in 2005,  1000Attorneys.com Lawyer Referral Service is the fastest growing online lawyer referral service in California.

 

Members of the public have turned to the 1000Attorneys.com as a reliable legal resource for more than 15 years to locate reputable California lawyers.

How the LRS Works 


Via the 1000Attorneys.com portal, the public will find a competent California attorney. Lawyer referrals are available in English and Spanish.

 

Clients are referred to a local attorney who is competent to handle the case after having some fundamental knowledge about their legal issue. A free 30 minute consultation with the attorney will be offered to each referred client. 

Hundreds of articles on common legal issues, in English and Spanish, can also be obtained by the public via our blog. These pieces of information address a wide variety of common legal issues in Southern California.

A LRS representative will follow up via email with the client after receiving a referral for quality management purposes, or to obtain  the status of your case. 

About lawyers from our network


Lawyers in our network are insured, in good standing with the California State Bar and have substantial experience in their area of practice.

 

Additionally, each LRS attorney has shown that he or she has a tracking record of ethics, professional responsibility and has met several requirements for membership.

 

Attorneys are available in most areas of law throughout Southern California. Every lawyer in or network has been vetted for:

  • Credentials

  • Education

  • Communication skills

  • Performance

  • Client reviews

Additionally, attorneys are always monitored, insured and in good standing with the California State Bar. 

How to find the best lawyer for your legal case: 

1. The fastest way to have your legal issue reviewed by one of our attorneys is to send your details online. Your information will go directly to our 24 hour legal department. You will get a reply via email within 15 minutes. 

2. You may also inquire about your legal issue via chat where you can get more information related to different areas of law that apply to your case.

3. By calling our lawyer referral hotline 661-310-7999. Our agents are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advise. Due to high call volumes, it's highly recommend that you use option # 1 above. 

>Popular Articles

 

Who is the best lawyer in California?

 

Everything you need to know about California workers compensation claims (2021 Guide For Employees)

 

Gender discrimination in the workplace

 

How do I prove age discrimination at work?

 

Disability discrimination in the workplace, a guide for employees

 

Discrimination against pregnant employees, how to report it

Sexual harassment at work and the #metoo movement

California employee rights 2021

Wrongful termination laws 2021

Employment lawyer referrals

Genetic information discrimination

Filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

National origin discrimination

Religious discrimination at work

How to win a wage claim

What is constructive termination

 

Qualities of a great labor lawyer

Wrongful termination examples

How to report your employer to the labor board

Why working with a California workers compensation lawyer makes sense

Who is the best lawyer in California?

 

Clients lawyers want to avoid

 

Is a bigger personal injury law firm better?

 

Why is difficult to find pro bono lawyers in California?

 

How do I find the top personal injury law firms in California?

 

Are there any good lawyers in Los Angeles?

Motorcycle accident laws in California

 

California workers compensation

California rideshare accidents

 

Construction accidents in LA

 

Car accidents in Los Angeles

 

Suffered from a brain injury?

California personal injury laws 2021

Pain and suffering settlements

>California Attorney Discipline

 

Personal injury attorney arrested after stealing millions in settlements from clients

 

How to check if a lawyer is licensed in California?

 

Where do I learn more about California attorney discipline?

 

Personal injury lawyer arrested after killing a woman while driving under the influence

 

FREE Case Review

Most cases are reviewed within 15 minutes. We are open 24/7

OPEN 24 HOURS

California Bar Certified

Lawyer Referral Service

-FREE Case Review In 15 Minutes Or Less-

Since 2005 our team has been working closely with the State Bar of California (certification # 0128) by providing unbiased and impartial referrals to ethical California lawyers.

We conduct due diligence by researching, vetting and recommending the best local attorney with proven experience in the type of law needed for your legal issue.

24/7 CHAT🚀

law-firm-marketing.jpg

        1000Attorneys

 

California State Bar Certified

Lawyer Referral Service

California Attorney Search Hotline

1.661.310.7999

  • Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Employment Lawyer Los Angeles
  • Workers Compensation Lawyer Los Angeles
  • Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer
  • Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer
  • Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
  • Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited. Service provided by 1000Attorneys.com, a State Bar Certified Attorney Referral and Information Service ( Certification # 0128 ).    Disclaimer: All Lawyer Referrals are unbiased and impartial. This service is not paid lawyer advertising nor is the service owned or operated by lawyers receiving referrals. Members of our network must meet minimal requirements set forth by the service and the CA State Bar. Information provided in this website is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship if formed by use of this website. 1000Attorneys.com | California Lawyer Referral and Information Service | Los Angeles, California | info@1000attorneys.com | 661-310-7999 | Locations: Beverly HillsLos AngelesLong BeachGlendaleSanta ClaritaLancasterPalmdalePomonaTorrance , PasadenaEl MonteDowneyInglewoodWest CovinaNorwalkBurbankNewport BeachLaguna BeachSanta MonicaAnaheimSanta AnaIrvine, and San Diego

Website & Marketing Management by

🚀 LawyerLeadMachine.com