Slatington, PA asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for New Jersey

Q: Can I sue for being placed on unpaid leave for not complying with a mask mandate?

I was placed on unpaid leave in 2020 for not complying with a mask mandate, I was forced to resign and find a new job. I am looking to see if I have any standing for a case.

1 Lawyer Answer
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In New Jersey, employers have the authority to enforce workplace safety measures, including mask mandates, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure a safe working environment. If you didn't comply with the mandate, the employer might have been within their rights to place you on unpaid leave. However, if you had a valid religious or medical reason for not wearing a mask and communicated this to your employer, you might have grounds for a reasonable accommodation under certain laws. If denied such an accommodation, you could potentially have a claim. It's worth noting that during the pandemic, many states had public health orders mandating masks, further supporting employers in enforcing such rules. For personalized legal advice tailored to your unique circumstances, it's advisable to consult with an attorney.

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