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COVID-19 California Employment Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I received an email from my workplace regarding my religious exemption from the COVID 19 vaccine. I need advice

I literally received an email from my employer asking me to provide more info about my religious exemption and was told that I must respond within 3 calendar days and included a series of questions that I have to answer regarding my religious affiliation

Eva Zelson
Eva Zelson answered on Oct 14, 2021

Your employer is within their rights to follow up on your request for a religious exemption to verify that it is a truly held religious belief. You should comply with their request for more information if you wish for them to grant you an exemption to their requirement for the Covid-19 vaccine.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: i NEED HELP WITH COVID VACCINE MANDATE WITH MY EMPLYEE
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 24, 2021

You have not really asked a question that can be answered. This Q&A board is not the place to solicit attorneys to work for you.

It sounds to me like you need to locate and consult with an employer-side attorney.

Generally speaking the employer of an at will employee can...
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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Civil Rights for California on
Q: I’m a federal employee and going to refuse the vaccine mandate. If fired, will this violate laws meant to protect me?

Vaccine presidential mandate.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 15, 2021

Mandatory vaccination is lawful. It has been since 1905 when the US Supreme Court issued its opinion in Jacobson v. Massachusetts. That decision, although old, has been cited to over 800 times and recently by our US Supreme court in the last two years. You will have no recourse if you refuse to... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for California on
Q: What are proper steps to take ? Should I get a lawyer first?

So since working for employer I have had missing wages issues that never were addressed after a month of getting the run around I felt hopeless because the clock in were changing when I am well aware of my clock in times. Sunday was my normal schedule day and 4th of July landed on that day I was... Read more »

Niran Grimberg
Niran Grimberg answered on Sep 14, 2021

Under California Labor Code 1102.5, if you complain to your employer about something you reasonably believe to be unlawful, and the employer retaliates against you (in this case terminated you), you may have a case for whistleblower retaliation. I would recommend seeking a free consultation with an... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for California on
Q: How do I request an exemption?

My employer has switched from voluntary to mandatory vaccination offering religious/medical exemptions.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Sep 6, 2021

If you have a medical condition that prevents you from taking the vaccine, get a doctor's note indicating as much and present it to your employer.

If you have a closely held religious belief that prevents you from taking the vaccine, you will need to present that information to your...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Employer claims they do not have to pay me for hours I worked, my manager always approved my time card. Do they owe me?

During covid my hours and wage were adjusted, I was told verbally that my hours had been restored and proceeded to work a 40 hour week. My manager approved my time card for 7 months. The time tracking system sent me emails that said you are a full time employee and must submit for a 40 hour week.... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Aug 19, 2021

If you are an hourly employee you must be paid for all time you spend working for the employer. That is true regardless of what the employer tells you about what hours you are to work. While you can be disciplined and even terminated for working more hours than your employer instructed you to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can an employer withhold promotions or raises because an employee is not vaccinated for Covid-19?

My employer violated HIPAA laws by asking why employees didn’t want to get vaccinated. They are telling our general manager they will not give a raise or promotion unless an employee is vaccinated.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Aug 4, 2021

Yes an employer can withhold promotions and raises, and even terminate an employee, who refuses to vaccinate against Covid-19. And it is not a HIPAA violation to ask an employee about why they do not want to vaccinate. HIPAA does not regulate employees, only health care providers and insurance... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Native American Law for California on
Q: Can my employer force me to wear a mask and threaten termination if I have a medical condition?
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 27, 2021

Your employer can require you to wear a mask. If you have a medical note indicating that you cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, that does not mean you get to take the mask off and work like you did before the pandemic. Rather, the employer as the obligation at that time to determine... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: i was talked into applying for unemployment during the pandemic when they were giving extra money but i am on ssdi am i

commiting fraud and what can i do about it

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jun 9, 2021

Contact the EDD and arrange to give back the money you should not have received. If you did not qualify for UI benefits, that is your only option short of waiting to be the subject of a reimbursement action.

And do not think that blaming your conduct on someone else for talking you into...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Employment Law and Landlord - Tenant for California on
Q: Manager @ CA Regional RV Park covered up an employee Cov-19 OUTBREAK. Endangering 200+ residents. This can’t be legal!

Manager hosted internal company party while gov. ordinances, i.e. “no social gatherings” were in full effect. Masks not enforced. 9 employees contracted Covid-19 at this party.

Facility falsely reported only ONE Covid positive case.

Employees were laid-off for a month to... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow answered on Jun 9, 2021

more info needed.

you can always petition or sue for anything.......whether you can get a lawyer to take the case on a contingency AND collect anything is another story.

i would think contacting the owner of the establishment would make the most sense.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Gov & Administrative Law for California on
Q: I am a federal government employee. I am being forced to wear a mask because I will not get the COVID-19 "vaccination"

Wearing the cloth masks required do not prevent the COVID-19 virus from being breathed in. What legal grounds justify I wear something that does not protect me

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on May 18, 2021

As an employee you must comply with the dress code and uniform requirements of your employer. If the your employer required you to wear foil hats to prevent alien intrusion into your brain, you wear the aluminum hat. That is the nature of the employer-employee relationship. You do not get to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Am I entitled to COVID sick leave pay if I was dr-exempted from work but I quit 2 wks BEFORE the new law came out?

i was off work accordingly to my doctor's exemption note from 1/21/21 - 2/11/21. I went back to work from 2/12/21 until about 3/10/21 which was my last day. The new 2021 covid law came out 3/29/21. Do I still get paid for my sick covid?

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on May 17, 2021

That is unlikely. The new law would have covered you if you had to miss work due to doctor ordered quarantine but because you quit before the law went into effect, you are not going to be eligible. Good luck to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: I’m being terminated at my job because I got a covid19 test at a medstat clinic for taking time off with flu-like sympt

I’m being fired because I didn’t inform them medstat had made me take a Covid test. Took my test 3/16, informed boss of positive results 3/22 when they came in.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on May 7, 2021

You have asked no question. If you are wondering if it is lawful for your employer to terminate you because you did not disclose that you were having flu-like symptoms until 6 days later after you got the test results, the answer is yes. In this pandemic, employers have the awesome responsibility... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: Can I sue my manager for hipaa violation?

I took a covid test and my manager sent me a text saying she “snuck on the covid site and seen my results” without me asking her to do so.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on May 4, 2021

No. HIPAA is a medical provider and insurer statute, not an employer statute. However there are laws that protect an employee's medical privacy. That said, in today's climate there is nothing unlawful about an employer knowing your status as infected or not with the virus. Anyway, the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Health Care Law for California on
Q: Is it legal for an employer to terminate you if you’re dying at the hospital?

My father is being hospitalized from COVID and his prognosis is grim. It’s likely he will not be returning to work indefinitely. I need to update his address on file to my address as he no longer lives at the house he was renting. I have to go through the HR department at his work in order to... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Mar 1, 2021

An employer can lawfully terminate an employee who is out on leave if the leave is indefinite and there is no communication to the employer that suggests additional unpaid leave would allow the employee to return to work within a reasonably defined period of time. If he is terminated and dropped... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Employment Law for California on
Q: Is there any legal standing for harassment protection from being forced to wear a face mask as condition of employment?

I am being forced to wear a mask at my desk. I already got covid and recovered in a couple of days.

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi answered on Feb 23, 2021

The short answer is no. Even though you were fortunate to recover from Covid-19, you can still spread the virus to others. Your employer is most likely required by your county health department to continue requiring all employees to wearing a mask if you are otherwise in an indoor, office setting... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for California on
Q: My friend's boss was covid positive last week Thursday, but he showed up to work today on Monday. He won't leave too.

How can she protect herself and her co-workers and does she have a legal case?

Ina Shtukar
Ina Shtukar answered on Feb 9, 2021

Interesting scenario! If your fried becomes sick (only if she becomes sick), she would probably have a cause of action under the workers' comp act. Many states now have a presumption for COVID, which makes it work related and compensable. However, based on the fact that the boss was aware of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Do 1099 contractors have rights regarding possible COVID exposure?

I’m a photographer (1099 contractor) for a real estate business in California that makes virtual tours using business owned equipment. I have done nearly 50 listings, mostly residential, spanning the last 7 months.

In many instances, not all, the listing has been vacant and I signed... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 30, 2021

An independent contractor's rights and duties are defined by the contract between you and the other party to the contract. For the most part, laws enacted to protect employees will not protect independent contractors, with some exceptions. Whether your contractual partner can force you to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My employer wants me to come back to work after I have worked at home for over two years. Can I refuse with cause?

I have been working from home for over two years. My employer made it possible by getting me a laptop to use at home. I live 72 miles from my workplace which is one of the key reasons. Now, they want me to come back. The original agreement was verbal and set up by my supervisor, his boss and the... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 28, 2021

Unfortunately, prior arrangements, prior agreements and a ten year seniority provide you with legal basis for working from home. Generally, an employer can require employees to work wherever the employer wants them to work. The only real exception to that general rule is if the employee has a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Personal Injury for California on
Q: Can I get fired for contracting Covid -19? Does my employer have the right to refuse me hours since I became ill?

I work for a small business of less than 10 employees. I contracted covid over a month and a half ago. Initially my employer told me to take two weeks off, then told me to take the rest of December off and they would schedule me for more hours in January. Then Jan came and they told me they... Read more »

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen answered on Jan 14, 2021

No one here can know if you are going to be fired. As to what your options could be, it would be important to know if you work for an employer that has at least 5 employees. If not, there is little you can do. If yes, then you are protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which may give... Read more »

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