WRONGFUL TERMINATION I EMPLOYMENT I CORONAVIRUS – Terminated In Violation of California’s Stay-at-Home Order

WRONGFUL TERMINATION I EMPLOYMENT I CORONAVIRUS – Terminated In Violation of California’s Stay-at-Home Order

March 24, 2020

Following, California’s “Stay At Home” Order issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday, March 19, 2020 there has been an inflow of calls inquiring into the legality of employers forcing employees to report to work despite the enacted stay at home order.

Governor Newsom issued a “stay-at-home order” (also known as the “shelter-in-place order”), in an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus.  This official state mandate is fundamental to preserve the health and safety of the public; and employers are prohibited from discharging employees for failing to come to work and abiding by the shelter-in-place order.

Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy – In general the law protects those individuals whom are wrongfully terminated for refusing to engage in illegal conduct.

Example: If you are an employee working in a “nonessential service” industry and are advised by your employer to report to work, in spite of the “Stay at Home Order” and subsequently terminated for failing to report, this constitutes “wrongful termination in violation of public policy.

This is an exert from a CNN article explaining California’s “Stay At Home Order” (“Shelter-In-Place Order”), in response to Coronavirus:

“Last Thursday, [March 19, 2020] Gov. Gavin Newsom was the first governor in the US to set mandatory stay-at-home restrictions to help combat the coronavirus.

Since the order went into effect, all nonessential services such as dine-in restaurants, bars, gyms and convention centers have been shut down.

Essential services, such as groceries, pharmacies, gas stations, food banks, convenience stores and delivery restaurants, have remained open. So have banks, local government offices that provide services and law enforcement agencies.

While the order is not being enforced by police, Newsom urged all Californians to stay at home. Residents who need to leave home to take part in essential activities are advised to practice social distancing.” – https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/us/coronavirus-which-states-stay-at-home-order-trnd/index.html

If you have any questions regarding the stay at home order, we direct you to the Official State of California website: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/

The state of California advises: “Stay home except for essential needs … The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.”

If you were terminated for refusing to report to work in violation of the stay at home order or during or because of your concerns regarding the Coronavirus, you should contact our offices immediately.  Learn your rights and get some advice on how to best proceed.  We encourage you to contact our offices at 619-432-5145 for a free consultation with one of our employment attorneys to discuss your Covid-19 termination case or Coronavirus wrongful termination case.

    Diana Legal