Q: Can a box store threaten to fire employees over social media posts that a fellow employee tested positive for covid 19?
A friend of mine informed me that their wife's employer threatened to fire their employees if they posted on social media that there was a positive covid-19 case at their store. Some of the employees are worried about sharing this information because they feel the public has a right to know they may have come in contact with someone who has tested positive. Is this legal to withhold from the public and to retaliate for exposing the information?
Twitter might be a good medium for that. If the post were to a public health agency, the employer would be violating Section 1102.5 of the California Labor Code which prohibits terminations for complaints to government agencies.
Section 96(k) of the Labor Code also prohibits termination for lawful off-work activity.
Do not bad mouth the employer on social media. Only the facts.
Of course employers can fire anyone at any time, and often do -- letting the chips falls where they may. Perhaps a third party can make the posting -- as long as it is true.
The employees can also send an email or call the local health department, especially if safety protocols are not being followed.
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