Asked in Employment Law for Florida

Q: If a worker is fired for asking employer to follow CDC guidelines for COVID-19 is there a case?

My mother works in a small office and the owners have been getting lax in taking precaution when it comes to COVID-19. First, they came into the office to work sans mask, despite being in contact with COVID positive people and tried to hide it. They let my mom work from home for a bit while she got tested and waited for her results but then asked her to return to working in the office on the promise that masks would be worn and the office would be closed to outsiders. Day one of my mom's return the owner lets someone into the office without a mask and both are near my mother without a mask on. Their excuse is that the governor has moved the state to Phase 3. Today they almost fired her unless she said she would trust them to be honest and not hide things and believe him and stop asking questions and raising concerns. She's been a good employee there for over a year and they had just notified her they were going to give her a raise for good work but now are threatening to let her go.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jay P. Lechner
Jay P. Lechner
  • Tampa, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Generally, your mother would not have a cause of action unless there was an actual law, rule or regulation (as opposed to a non-promulgated guidance) requiring the wearing of masks and the company had a practice of violating it. On the other hand, if she were to join with a group of employees to protest the alleged failure to enforce COVID-related guidelines that was adversely affecting their safety or other terms or conditions of their employment, she may be protected under Section 7 of the NLRA.

Alberto Naranjo agrees with this answer

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