COVID-19 And Employment Discrimination

There is no question the global pandemic has interrupted the daily lives of not just most Americans, but most people around the world. Here in the United States, millions have been ordered to stay home to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus. And while many companies will undoubtedly have to lay off or furlough workers, some less scrupulous companies and managers are using the pandemic to get rid of people for improper reasons. So, what can you do to protect yourself?

For starters, if you are let go—fired or laid off—when others are not, then there is a question as to why you. If you are someone who has had issues with a supervisor or manager that is related to a protected category (race, color, religion, gender, disability, age, etc.) then you may have a case for unlawful discrimination. Remember, discrimination is a term of art, and it does not cover personality conflicts. If you and a manager don’t get along because he or she just doesn’t like you, or he or she is mean to everyone, that is not unlawful discrimination. But if you think you have underlying issues concerning your race, religion, disability, etc., and you are suddenly shown the door while others are not, then you may have a case. Call today.

Second, for those with underlying health issues, employers are required to make reasonable workplace accommodations for those health issues during this time, including work-from-home, or telecommuting, and other workplace accommodations to keep you safe. At a time when millions of workers are being told to stay home, if your job is one that can be done remotely, then your employer should allow this, particularly if you are at higher risk for infection and serious illness from COVID-19. Again, if you think this might be you, call today.