California Workplace Rights

You cannot be treated differently from your fellow employees because of Coronavirus. You cannot be excluded, told to go home (while everyone else stays at work), told to stay at work (while everyone goes home), told to go get blood tests for the virus or treated differently because your employer “thinks” you might have, or be carrying a strain of, the virus.

An employer cannot make assumptions about your health or health condition. That is discrimination in the workplace. Likewise, your employer cannot ask you questions about your health or your immune system – that is against the law.

And in the unfortunate event that you do get the virus, your employer is not allowed to disclose this information to others, that is a complete violation of your privacy rights. And your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for having the virus in any way – you are entitled to your same job upon your return to work at the same salary, your same rate of pay.

Of course there are exceptions to the above (there always are!), but remember the main point is the an employer cannot target you in a way that violates CA anti-discrimination laws.

Know that you can be sent home if, for example, you’ve just returned from a cruise ship, and your employer is afraid you’re carrying the virus. But if you are sent home because you are Chinese, or Korean or because of your National Origin (for example), that is clearly discriminatory.

If you have any questions regarding your employment rights and Coronavirus, please contact us at the Law Offices of Lauren Abrams.