Were You Wrongfully Terminated As A Result Of COVID-19 In New Jersey?
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses nationwide and devastated the economy, employees still maintain certain rights. This includes the right not to be dismissed unfairly. If you have been dismissed because you reported your workplace for unsafe working conditions, you are a victim of wrongful termination. In addition, if you were let go but believe you have been targeted because of a protected characteristic such as your age, race, gender or pregnancy status, you could have a case as well.
COVID-19 and The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Under the ADA, employers can legally ask an employee not to report to work if they have reason to believe their presence poses a direct threat to the workplace. This reason can be something such as the employee expressing an abnormally high temperature or having been tested positive for COVID-19. Remote working arrangements should be in place for all but the essential sectors.
If you are in the essential sector and your capacity to perform your duties is affected by your disability, you have the right to request for reasonable accommodations. Your employer should review this and discuss an alternative arrangement with you. You may also be entitled to a protected leave of absence under certain circumstances.
Constructive Discharge Arising from COVID-19
If you were not dismissed outright but had been pressured to resign by the unsafe conditions of your workplace, you could have a case of wrongful termination. This grants you certain additional rights in contrast to workers who simply resigned. For instance, if you have repeatedly made known to your employer that they have not abided by safety regulations yet they did nothing about it, causing you to quit subsequently, you could have a case. The law requires employers to provide a safe working environment for employees in light of COVID-19 and if your employer has failed to do so, resulting in your resignation, it can be considered a “constructive discharge”.
In addition, if you have been discharged on the basis of a protected characteristic during the pandemic, you also have a case of wrongful termination. Protected characteristics include the following:
• National origin
• Sexual orientation
• Pregnancy status
Turn to Carcich O’Shea For Wrongful Termination Representation
Undoubtedly, times have been hard for everyone following the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a wrongful termination case, do not remain silent. You may think that your case appears trivial in light of everything that’s going on, but you have a right to legal representation. At Carcich O’Shea, LLC, we listen because we care. We understand that a wrongful termination can cause great emotional distress besides having adverse financial consequences for you and your dependents. Our attorneys are well-versed in the latest laws that protect workers during the pandemic and will see to it that your rights are fairly represented.
Contact us today if you would like to discuss what can be done if you have been wrongfully terminated as a result of COVID-19.