November 18, 2022

The Week in FFCRA Complaints: Employers Do Not Seem to Understand Mandated Worker Protections

It’s time once again for our weekly dose of FFCRA complaints here at the Berke-Weiss Law blog. It 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 pattern of many of the complaints we’re seeing, and this week is no exception, is an employee notices COVID-19 symptoms, possibly tests positive or at least wants to quarantine to ensure they do not spread it to others, and requests the legally mandated two weeks off plus job protection, yet still gets fired.

  • Complaint, McJunkin v. Lake Keowee Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, L.L.C., No. 8:20cv2699 (S.D. Ca. July 22, 2020)
  • Plaintiff sued her employer, a car dealership, for retaliation and wrongful termination in violation of FFCRA. Plaintiff became ill from COVID-19 symptoms and was instructed to self-quarantine by her physician. In addition, Plaintiff missed a couple days of work when her child’s daycare closed because of the pandemic. Both of these instances were covered under FFCRA paid leave, but Defendant terminated Plaintiff anyway.
  • Complaint, Voznesensky v. Peninsula Convalescent Assoc., L.L.C., No. 20-CIV-03058 (Cal. Supp. July 22, 2020)
  • Plaintiff, a nurse supervisor, sued her employer, a nursing center, for discrimination, retaliation, and denial of sick leave under FFCRA. Plaintiff tested positive for COVID-19 and alleges she was discriminated against and then terminated because of her illness or perceived disability. Before being diagnosed with COVID-19, Plaintiff repeatedly asked to wear a mask while working but her employer denied her requests. Plaintiff also alleges she was terminated because she complained about her employer about unsafe working conditions. In violation of FFCRA, Plaintiff was also denied paid leave by her employer and believes Defendant acted maliciously against her. 
  • Complaint, Staples-Reynolds v. Gills Gibson, Inc., No. 3:20cv1287 (M.D. Pa. July 28, 2020)
  • Plaintiff, a cook, sued his employer, a restaurant, for retaliation and denial of protected leave under FFCRA. Plaintiff tested positive after contracting COVID-19 from his roommate and was advised by his healthcare provider to self-quarantine for two weeks. He immediately notified his manager who responded by threatening to fire him if he took time off. When Plaintiff left work to self-quarantine, his manager terminated his employment.

Also filed: Complaint, Doler v. Capstone Logistics, L.L.C., No. 3:20cv218 (N.D. Miss. July 28, 2020)

Berke-Weiss Law Attorneys Speak at Endometriosis Foundation Conference

March 27, 2023
Disability Discrimination
Berke-Weiss Law in the News
Berke-Weiss Law attorneys, Laurie Berke-Weiss, Alex Berke, and Rosa Aliberti, spoke at the EndoFound Global Patient Symposium, commonly referred to as Patient Day, about the legal rights and protections for those with endometriosis.

AI and Compliance, Employers Brace for a Brave New World

March 16, 2023
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Over the last decade, more and more companies have utilized automated tools to aid in hiring, training, retaining. Historically, when practices and technologies are adopted rapidly, the law takes time to catch up and this is no different, with 2023 looking to be a year where companies are going to come under more detailed regulatory and compliance regimes focused on AI.

Elon Musk’s Public Mocking of Employee’s Disability Highlights the Importance of Reasonable Accommodations and Health Information Privacy

March 16, 2023
Disability Discrimination
Elon Musk mocked a Twitter employee for his disability and lack of clarity regarding job status, highlighting issues disabled workers face in the workplace.

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