If you’re worried about being fired because you’re sick, you are not alone. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency that enforces the ADA, has already deemed COVID-19 a direct threat. You may have legal protections under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) if it wouldn’t be safe for you to work at your normal job site because of a medical condition that makes you more vulnerable to COVID-19. Despite the unprecedented spread of COVID-19, many employers haven't taken the proper precautions to protect their employees from the coronavirus. The federal OSH Act requires employers to keep the workplace free of hazards. Your best bet, should you dread going to work, is to use accrued vacation time and stay home. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised many complicated legal issues that don’t yet have settled answers. For instance, California recognizes this form of wrongful termination when your employer intentionally created or knowingly allowed working conditions that violated public policy (such as laws requiring a safe work environment) and were so intolerable that any reasonable person in your position would have quit. In some states, you may be able to sue for what’s known as “constructive” wrongful termination if you were essentially forced to quit because your employer refused to take reasonable measures to protect you from a high risk of exposure to COVID-19. It’s also illegal to fire you just because you requested or took a leave under either federal or state law. Former corrections officers at a private immigration detention center tried this approach in lawsuits against their former employer. It requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide temporary paid leave to employees for certain COVID-19 reasons, such as experiencing symptoms, being quarantined, caring for an individual who is quarantined, or caring for a child who is home due to a daycare or school closure. You might have a claim for illegal disability discrimination if you were fired rather than allowed a reasonable accommodation. If you have to miss work for certain reasons related to COVID-19, you may have the right to take a leave under two federal laws: Some states have family and medical leave laws that are more generous than federal law. The nature of your job and whether you are able to reduce risk by things such as wearing PPE, working behind a plexiglass shield, working outside or far away from others will all factor into your risk of exposure. (Some states and cities have their own disability discrimination laws that provide additional protection.). Lawyers solicited for peer reviews include both those selected by the attorney being reviewed and lawyers independently selected by Martindale-Hubbell. For instance, California recognizes this form of wrongful termination when your employer intentionally created or knowingly allowed working conditions that violated public policy (such as laws requiring a safe work environment) and were so intolerable that any reasonable person in your position would have quit. You might have a claim for wrongful termination if you were fired because you complained about your employer's failure to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), like face masks, or to take other measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 at your workplace. Lawyers from our extensive network are ready to answer your question. Other employers have discouraged employees who have been exposed to the virus from taking time off, or refused to let employees work from home without any justification. 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