The coronavirus has taken America, as well as most of the world, by surprise. With so much information circulating, it can be very hard to know the best course of action. With the rise of inaccurate news reporting online and internet memes that can be misconstrued as the truth, it can be hard to find reliable information. Here at BJE Law, P.A., we care about our community and want you to have the knowledge you need to succeed.
A big question for many employees is whether or not they can legally refuse to return to work. This is certainly not the case. According to Florida law, you can be legally fired for refusing to work unless your doctor says otherwise. If your doctor clears you to return to work but you refuse, you can legally be fired.
There has been a lot of different information circulating about what businesses do and don’t have to do in response to COVID-19. Something worth noting is that while businesses have been told to follow CDC guidelines for stopping the spread, this is just a suggestion. Unless you are a healthcare worker, there is no law saying your employer has to follow the CDC guidelines. However, there are options for you if you feel that your employer is not taking proper steps to keep you and your coworkers safe. You can communicate this to your employer, especially if the problem is caused by other employees. If this doesn’t work, you may need to speak with upper management, or even the owner. If none of these steps fix the issue, you can file a complaint: osha.gov/workers/file_complaint.html
If you contract the coronavirus on the job or during work related activities, under Florida law, you are eligible for workers compensation. However, if you contract the virus outside of work related activities, you are not eligible. This means you should take proper precaution to keep yourself safe outside of work. Things like wearing a mask and washing your hands regularly can go a long way to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
For more information on your legal rights as an employee or employer, contact our offices today: