Understanding Your Right to Keep Yourself Safe
Although out-of-office events are a great way for employers to reward workers and build camaraderie in the workplace, it can be difficult to achieve these goals if employees are afraid to participate or show up because they are worried about exposure to Covid-19.
It is important for employees to know their rights when it comes to workplace gatherings. To help you understand your rights as an employee in the workplace during Covid, we've created this guide to help you navigate company gatherings.
Do I Have to Attend?
Because many employees feel pressured to attend Covid-19 gatherings, whether directly or implicitly, it is important that employers communicate the voluntary nature of participating in out-of-office events. Employees of all types, especially those who have severe illness and are at higher risk of exposure, might feel anxious about whether the employer will set up and adhere to proper Covid-19- related protocols. Employees should formally ask their employer whether attendance is mandatory or necessary for them to complete their job duties.
Is My Employer Required to Make Accommodations?
Employers should already be familiar with federal and state laws regarding reasonable accommodations for employees who need and request them. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employees with disabilities are protected from discrimination in the workplace. Both laws require most California employers to provide employees with disabilities reasonable accommodations, including at workplace gatherings where some employees are more vulnerable than others to coronavirus exposure.
While most employers must provide reasonable accommodations, some might be exempt from this law if the accommodation:
- Would be too difficult for the employer to execute
- Would endanger the health and safety of others
- Changes the employee’s job in a significant way
- The employer is not covered by the ADA or FEHA
Managers should individually and privately consult with each employee prior to workplace gatherings to make sure they are comfortable with the proposed out-of-office plans. Employers should also be open to changing those plans based on employee feedback.
Have More Questions? Call (949) 393-4249 Today
Our compassionate legal team understands that dealing with legal issues in the workplace can be a stressful, frightening, and demoralizing ordeal. If you believe your employer is behaving illegally and you are unsure what your options are, then please don’t hesitate to turn to Badame Law Group so that we can use our firm’s resources to defend your rights. Our firm is proud to offer decades of experience along with fierce determination and meticulous attention to detail. Let us take a look at your case and help you make informed decisions.
Give us a call at (949) 393-4249 or contact us online to set up your free case consultation.