Chicago, IL asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Texas

Q: Employer let me go after telling me to quarantine and test. Results were negative and let go day 13 of 14 quarantine.

I was informed I had been exposed to the virus. When I told employer they said go home and quarantine immediately for two weeks and get tested. After receiving negative results I contacted immediate supervisor via text. After no response I contacted the owners wife via text stating when I would be back to work. Her response was due to the length of my absence and other unmentioned reasons I was replaced by the temporary help hired to cover my position. I work in Valley Mills, Texas at Classic Canyon horse ranch. I have received two one dollar raises in the last six months so I dumbfounded with the “other reasons” statement made. I have the text messages between supervisor and owners wife.

1 Lawyer Answer
Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Columbus, OH

A: It sounds like your employer may have violated the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Subject to some exceptions, employers with less than 500 employees are required to make 80 hours of paid sick leave available for full-time employees, and the equivalent of the average number of hours scheduled over two weeks for part-time employees. This applies if you have been employed for a least 30 calendar days and if you are subject to a federal, state, or local isolation order due to COVID, you have been advised by a healthcare provider to isolate, or if you are experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis - among other reasons. This provision makes it unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you for attempting to exercise your right to this benefit. More information is needed to fully analyze your situation. You should reach out to an employment attorney in your area to discuss your options.

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