The coronavirus outbreak has changed employment conditions for millions of people across the United States. We know this is a time of tremendous uncertainty, and you have a lot of questions. The attorneys at Halunen Law are dedicated to providing answers and protecting your employment rights.
If you were retaliated against or terminated during the coronavirus pandemic, it might have been a violation of one or more legal protections in place, and you may have the right to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination. Please review the information below and contact us for a free consultation about your concerns.
Reporting Safety Concerns
A lack of PPE, an employer’s failure to enforce safety measures, and social distancing in the workplace are common concerns for many employees. If you were terminated for bringing up safety concerns to your employer, you may have a claim for wrongful termination. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) prohibits employers from terminating or retaliating against an employee for filing a complaint about workplace safety.
Taking Medical Leave
If your employer terminates your employment for taking a medical leave, they risk violating The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires that employers who employ more than 50 employees give their employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to care for a child with a severe medical condition (which can include COVID-19).
The Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act
(FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Examples include caring for an individual subject to quarantine or caring for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed for reasons related to COVID-19.
Protections for Quarantined Employees with Covid-19 in Minnesota
Minn. Stat. 144.4196 prohibits adverse actions against employees for up to 21 consecutive workdays when an employee is subject to isolation or quarantine.
Following a Shelter-In-Place Order
The Work from Home Order expired on April 15, 2021. If your employer retaliated against you or terminated your employment for following a public policy order, you may have a right to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. Governor Walz’s Emergency Executive Order 20-99 mandated that all employees who can work from home must do so. It may be illegal for your employer to force you to come into work if you do not have to do so or retaliate against you for refusing to go into work in violation of this Order.
Violating Parental Rights During Covid-19
With many daycare centers and schools closed to in-person learning, parents who work are struggling to find ways to make sure their children are learning and being cared for at home while still doing their job. There are laws in place in Minnesota that protect the rights of parents in the workplace. If you feel your employer has discriminated against you for your familial status, contact Halunen Law to speak with an experienced employment law attorney today.
We’ve posted several blogs that provide helpful information:
- Covid-19 — Is Working From Home a “Reasonable Accommodation” Under the Americans With Disabilities Act?
- What Are My Rights as an Employee in the Covid-19 Pandemic?
- New Federal Law Protections for Employees During the Covid-19 Pandemic
- Workplace Covid-19 Deaths and Serious Injury May Result in Personal Injury Lawsuits for Damages
- How Can I Protect Myself as a Pregnant Worker During the Covid-19 Pandemic?
- What Are My Rights as a Parent During the Covid-19 Pandemic?
- Can My Employer Require Me to Come to Work During the Covid-19 Pandemic?
- If I Can Work From Home, Can My Employer Force Me to Return to Work Under the Governor’s Executive Order?
- Employees Take a Stand — Telecommuting Can Be a Reasonable Accommodation
- Protections in Minnesota for Quarantined Employees with Covid-19
- Fraud and Covid-19 — Calling Out the Best and Worst of Us
Contact Halunen Law
During these continued uncertain times, you need a strong team in your corner to fight for your rights. Halunen Law is committed to ensuring that your employment rights are protected.
Contact Halunen Law for a free and confidential legal consultation today.