Louisville, KY asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Kentucky

Q: Can my employer fire me for not going back to work to my non-essential job during covid-19?

I am a receptionist for a privately owned dental office. I have been laid off for a couple weeks. The doctor has been going in by himself to treat emergencies only. He just got approved for the PPP loan and tells us today (Friday) that all his staff have to come back to work Monday or they will be fired. Is this legal? And can I still draw unemployment if he fires me for this? I am also immune compromised.

1 Lawyer Answer
Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert
Answered
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH

A: This is a tough situation. It sounds like your employer is a small employer (employs 50 or less employees). If that is the case, then the job protections set forth in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act may not apply to you. However, you may be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act if your employer employs 15 or more employees, depending on the nature of why you are immune compromised. If you are covered under the ADA, then you can request additional unpaid leave time as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. If you are fired on this basis, you will still be able to collect unemployment payments.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.