It appears employers continue to terminate workers who are supposed to be protected under the FFCRA. This week, we’ve highlighted several cases where employees were waiting for test results or already diagnosed with Covid-19 and subsequently fired when seeking paid leave.
Since we started this weekly blog post in May, we've read and summarized over 50 complaints filed under the new leave law. As we’ve pointed out, many of these complaints follow almost a template, with workers being terminated for either taking legally-allowed precautions to protect fellow workers from potential infection or for having legitimate reasons to take leave, often to care for a family member or child.
The complaints we found relevant this week are eerily similar—parents who need to take care of their children, some of whom are immunocompromised, are being denied telework or leave or are being terminated. Further, we are continuing to see plaintiffs who voice concerns to their employers about workplace safety being terminated after doing so.
As we noted last week, employers seem not to have gotten the message on paid leave under FFCRA and the two notable cases that came up this week both involve employer retaliation and wrongful termination against employees who were protected under FFCRA.
t is starting to seem, from our perspective, that either employers have not been made sufficiently aware of the leave entitled to workers under the FFCRA or that they are willing to risk a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
The three cases highlighted in this weeks’ FFCRA complaint roundup include two filed by plaintiffs working in restaurants and another from a plaintiff employed in food distribution. Because the entire food supply chain has been deemed essential, workers in the industry have little ability to leave work to care for sick family members or children since the childcare industry cratered.
This is the second installment in our roundup of FFCRA complaints. As we noted in the first post, we will be keeping you up to date with all the cases and highlighting the ones that we think have special bearing on our practice, employment law in New York State, or are just particularly noteworthy.