BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the COVID-19 cases grow, we’re on your side answering some of your calls and emails about what your rights are as an employee, especially if a co-worker gets the virus.
There are a few things courts and you have to consider right now.
Alabama is what’s called an employment at-will state.
That means employers can terminate your job for virtually any reason, as long as it’s not a discriminatory reason.
If an employer knowingly exposes you to COVID-19, is that negligence that they should be liable for?And does that become a worker’s compensation case?
These are all new questions the courts will have to answer.
And it’s not a black and white issue.
But there are steps you can take if you think you have a case.
Kirby Farris, a partner with Farris, Riley, & Pitt, LLP said, "The fact that we now have these ordinances, which in fact are laws that say we’re supposed to be doing certain things-- if somebody fails to do those things, and you can connect your exposure for their failure to follow the rules, or follow these ordinances and laws, then you may be able to make a case. "
Farris says the real challenge will be proving your exposure to the virus did in fact come from your place of employment.