Tacoma, WA asked in Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation, Civil Rights and Health Care Law for Arizona

Q: My dad was forced to go to a meeting, can he sue his company?

My dad's company recently held a meeting and forced all their employees to attend. No one in the room was wearing a mask or practiced social distancing, and the company have been negligent since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in their regard for the safety of their employees. They are a private aircraft hangar that also fuels emergency vehicles, and they have had confirmed Covid patients come through and have NOT implemented any safety procedures, testing, or offered any compensation.

1 Lawyer Answer
Joel Friedman
Joel Friedman
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Thank you for posting your question here. The issue you present is going to be common I suspect, and from my perspective as a workers' compensation (WC) attorney (I do not practice in any of the other three areas mentioned in the post) I think it is going to be difficult to qualify for benefits for anyone who tests positive for Covid 19 or even actually is sick from the virus. This would not, again in my opinion, actually be a work injury and instead would be what is called an occupational disease. There are very strict rules to establish the presence of an occupational disease and, because Covid 19 is everywhere, places we have no idea, I believe it will be difficult to show that the exposure actually was at work rather than at the grocery store, hardware store, or anywhere else with at least groups of people.

I appreciate your concern and hope your father remains personally unaffected. The type of attorney you probably want to speak to would be someone who practices employment law for employees. You can reach me at joel@compinaz.com if you have more questions. Thank you again for your inquiry

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