Can Your Employer Fire You for Refusal to Violate the COVID-19 Quarantine?

Can your employer fire you for refusal to comply with COVID-19 Quarantine? Fenters Ward says NO and will challenge the practice in court.

Today Fenters Ward received its first call from a Waynesburg resident because his employer fired him after he refused to violate the state mandated quarantine.

After the forced shut down, the employer pressured the employee to continue working, and converted his pay to cash ‘off the books’. The employee was assured that he would be provided hand sanitizer and protective gear, and efforts would be made to isolate employees. But when he showed up on site there were no protective measures. 

That night after work, the employee protested via text message, and the employer took a hostile tone and reprimanded the employee for challenging the company’s decisions. He was fired when he showed up to work the next day!

Pennsylvania is an at-will employee state, which means you can be terminated for any reason. However, there are limits to what an employer can do. They cannot fire you for any reason that is considered ‘discriminatory’. Usually that means you are in a protected class based on gender, age, race etc. There is an important line of case law which prohibits employers from ‘retaliating’ by firing employees who refuse to violate law. Public policy demands that these employees are protected in Pennsylvania

Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may also provide a grounds for recovery. If your employer fired you because you self-quarantined to protect an at-risk person in your home, then you may have a claim. Employers must make reasonable accommodations.

A successful plaintiff can recovery damages for lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages in some cases. There is no fee unless we get money for you. And we front all costs for you. Unfortunately, this may happen to many Pennsylvanians. You or someone you know may need an attorney to fight on your behalf.

Know your rights. Call our law firm at 412-545-3016. Let us win your next fight.