Asked in Employment Law for Florida

Q: Is there any action one can take against a boss putting employees in unnecessary danger?

If a boss comes into work and multiple of his family members including his wife have tested positive for COVID-19 and have told him he needs to quarantine but he comes in anyway and takes his mask off, is that creating a risky work environment? Is there any sort of legal action one could take especially if they end up getting COVID-19 soon after?

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
Answered
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: The best action you can take it to quit. If you have in fact contracted the disease, the legal action you could take would depend upon how you got it. If it was in fact a result of being infected at work, the exclusive remedy of a worker's compensation claim would apply; if you did not get it at work you have no claim at all against your employer.

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Tampa, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: One option, as correctly noted by the previous poster, would be to quit. Of course, then you are suffering the full brunt of your boss's callous actions, losing your income and possibly the ability to support your family, even though you did nothing wrong.

Another option would be to discuss the issue with your coworkers and, if they agree, present your collective concerns to management. You have now engaged in protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. If the company retaliates against you, they violate Section 8(a)(1j of the NLRA.

If the company continues to disregard your concerns, you may then submit a petition signed by at least 30% of your coworkers to your local NLRB office demading an election for recognition of a union. If the workers prevail in the election, the company will be required to collectively bargain in good faith about wages, hours, and other mandatory subjects, at which point the issue of health and safety policies with respect to COVID19 can be raised.

Of course, if your employee had simply cared about its employees in the first place and not recklessly endangered the health and safety of you and you coworkers, this process would not be necessary.

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.