Q: Employee resigned citing poor response from management after car accident. Is management legally liable for anything?
Employee contacted management to let them know they had been in a car accident (not work related) and were okay. They said they would keep in touch and update us after they got some rest. A few hours later they contacted management and said they may have a concussion due to the airbags not going off. Management suggested they see a doctor and asked if they could try to help contact coworkers to cover their future shifts if they thought they may still need time off, which were all at the end of the next week. They informed management that they were unhappy with the response as the crash unavoidable and they could have been seriously injured and they were quitting effective immediately due to the response. Management thanked them for their time and made their final check available. Does the former employee have any grounds to pursue anything? I ask as the employee has always had a negative attitude and talked badly about former jobs so I assume they are not happy about this one.
A: Under the Oregon Sick Time Leave law, employers cannot require it ask employees to find cover for shifts they will miss that they are taking sick leave for. Management may be liable for asking Employee to do that. Furthermore, their termination in such close proximity to their need to take sick leave looks like retaliation for taking sick leave. Without knowing more about the conversation that took place, it appears Management may be liable for sick leave retaliation.
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