COVID-19 Employment Law Q&A by State

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COVID-19 Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can my employer count my vacation eligibility time from post-pandemic-layoff rehire date rather than original hire date?

I began work Nov. 2019, and was "terminated" in March 2020 due to pandemic-related business downturn. I was rehired in June 2020, although I was not required to take a drug test again or submit my driving record again. I would have been eligible for paid vacation Nov. 2020, but now they... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 25, 2021

Well, if they give you a raise it looks like they are not having it both ways. Your vacation time is usually based on time accrued and does not count time off for personal days, family leave---or when you are laid off.

Year to date money means just that. If you were paid x dollars then...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Federal Crimes and White Collar Crime for Texas on
Q: Can I file a lawsuit to have a fraudulent W-2 revoked?

Can I file a lawsuit to have a fraudulent w-2 revoked?

I am an independent contractor.My life line during the pandemic depends on gig worker assistance. A company fraudulently re-characterized me as a w-2 employee after I terminated all business relationship with them due to consistent... Read more »

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter answered on Feb 24, 2021

I don't know what claims you could make yourself, but you could report the situation to the IRS. If they claim you were a W-2 employee, they should have been paying payroll withholding, and weren't. That can result in a 100% penalty against the company, and against anyone who had... 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Florida on
Q: Should i get paid for working myself and another assistants job?

Got hired on into a 3 assistant position. After Covid, was down to myself and 1 other assistant. This assistant would call out/quit/not show up 2-3 times out of the week on a weekly basis. This would leave me alone to hold up the entire Office and all the patients by myself. First asked owner of... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 23, 2021

No, it's apparently not discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or other suspect classification. Other than that kind of discrimination, an employer can employ, or not employ, whoever the employer wants. And no, they don't have to pay you for, in effect, working multiple jobs at once.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for North Carolina on
Q: Can I sue for an employer giving me grief and writing me up due to school schedule issues caused by COVID?

I am being constantly harrassed by my employer due to the fact that I have kids, and the current school schedule has caused me to be late. I have also requested the same schedule that has been allowed for another employee, but was denied the same curtesy.

Ina Shtukar
Ina Shtukar answered on Feb 13, 2021

Are you a member of a protected class? Based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability? If you are a female and your coworker is a male individual, you could have a potential claim for discrimination. Similarly, if you are an African American and your coworker is white, you may... 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 for Texas on
Q: What does my Appeal mean?

I received both ruling. I am not sure if I will get unemployment benefits after my appeal. That is what it says and I am not sure what exactly does it mean.

Valid Claim:We affirmed the previous ruling.

Separation from work : We reversed the previous ruling.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Feb 3, 2021

A Texas attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for two weeks. As a GENERAL matter in ANY type of case, if an appeal contains multiple elements, courts could rule categorically on them, denying some and affirming others. A Texas attorney who works in Employment Law would have the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Washington DC on
Q: Washington DC employer refuses employment verification.

Last year my employment was terminated by a non-profit based out of Washington DC. It was because I anonymously blew a whistle on my supervisor's conduct. I was told if someone were to call for employment verification, the organization would only give out the start and the end date.... Read more »

Matthew T. Famiglietti
Matthew T. Famiglietti answered on Feb 2, 2021

It is highly unusual for a former employer not to give verification of employment of a former employee. Usually the verification is very general, for example Mr Smith worked for Company A from Jan 1 2020 to Jan 1 2021. You would need to contact a licensed attorney in DC for a more in depth... Read more »

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 Michigan on
Q: Can I be fired because I have to care for my child because of covid related school closing?

Trying to tell me I will be terminated if I don't come to work while my child's school break has been extended because of covid related issues

Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow answered on Jan 30, 2021

Maybe. There is a difference between poor management decisions deciding whether or not to accommodate an employee and whether or not those accommodations violate any employee protections. You might consider reviewing Families First Coronavirus Response Act to determine whether or not it applies 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Texas on
Q: I contracted covid and was out of work. I want to know about the ffc act Trump put out for employees who test positive.

Do you have to have PTO or are they supposed to still pay you.

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Jan 27, 2021

The mandatory provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act expired on December 31, 2020. Therefore, if you contracted COVID-19 and were out of work after that date, then your employer would not be required to provide paid sick leave under the Act. However, if this occurred in 2020,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for North Dakota on
Q: How do I handle harrassment in the work place when it is not considered discrimination?

I am a white, single, gay female. I have no reason to be discriminated against (my employers don't care about me being gay). But that doesn't change the fact that they have been singling me out, holding me to different standards compared to my co workers. I've reported multiple... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Jan 27, 2021

There is not a lot you can do about verbal harassment that is not based upon your membership in a protected class, aside from reporting it to your supervisor and Human Resources. However, if you are experiencing lasting health complications as a result of COVID, you may be eligible for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Pennsylvania on
Q: I am being asked to do training and I am not sure if I need to be paid or not.

This is for a virtual medical scribe position. I am working from home in Philadelphia. The company is based in Texas. I completed pre-employment training that was unpaid. I signed a contract to start January 11. In an email, I was told the start date would be pushed back to an unknown date because... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jan 26, 2021

It sounds like this is post hire training, which should be compensated. Perhaps your pre-hire training should also be compensated. Consult a local employee rights attorney. The reality is if you suddenly become an excessively expensive employee, you will be cut. You need to weigh the benefit of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for Arizona on
Q: Does my employer need to pay me a profit share after I left the company?

My employer promised my salary is $16 per hour plus 10% of net profits. However, my employment was terminated last week

I left this company was because I was exposed to someone with covid and I told my boss that I was not going to work just to keep everyone safe, then he said I abandoned my... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jan 26, 2021

In most circumstances, the payment of an employee's compensation cannot be dependent on the employer's satisfaction with job performance, you either earn it or not. However, bonuses are different. So this depends on whether your compensation of 10% is part of salary or a bonus. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for South Carolina on
Q: Benefits selection, hours change, fraud on my part?

I started working for global non profit as a temporary worker off a 3 year grant, initially at 20hrs a week max. So I was told I could get benefits because of this, and I signed up for medical and dental.

Before I could submit my hours for my first paycheck I was then told by my supervisor... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jan 26, 2021

Perhaps the issue is not whether you committed fraud, but whether your employer misrepresented the terms and conditions of employment to you. IMO you should log 20 hours a week, if you are working it, and let the supervisor violate the wage and hour laws by docking your time. Definitely consult... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Personal Injury for Illinois on
Q: Belleville, Il. 62221 of St. Clair County. Question: Will get paid comp from missing 4 days of work (Covid 19)

In regards to being paid by worker's comp.

Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano answered on Jan 24, 2021

If you contracted Covid-19 as a front-line worker, you enjoy a rebuttable presumption that it was work-related. Once that is proven, it is the same as any other Workers' Compensation claim. In Illinois, an injured worker is not compensated for the first three days that they must be off work... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Oregon on
Q: What grounds does an employer have to force you to quit while on medical leave

I was fired well forced to quit while on medical leave and told to get a COVID test before returning this is after i had my hours cut due to making a report of sexual harrassment

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Jan 20, 2021

More information is needed to analyze your situation. Was your medical leave COVID-related? Does your employer have less than 500 employees? Did the forced resignation occur prior to December 31, 2020? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you may be entitled to protection under the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Constitutional Law for Ohio on
Q: Can a private company mandate the new covid vaccine without full FDA approval?

company is threatening to fire employees if they do not get the new covid vaccinations

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Jan 20, 2021

Generally, the answer to this question is yes. Employers can require their employees to received COVID-19 vaccinations. However, if you have a medical condition that renders you unable to receive the vaccine, or you have a religious objection to receiving the vaccine, you may be entitled to an... 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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