May 7, 2020

Employment Law

Wrongful Termination and Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Minnesota

Despite the gravity of the coronavirus outbreak and the need for businesses to quickly adjust, employees maintain their rights and protections against wrongful termination. Unfortunately, members of protected classes, including Asian-Americans, individuals with disabilities, and others have been unfairly targeted as a result of the coronavirus and need legal protections and support. Our Minnesota attorneys have extensive experience in wrongful termination claims and have stayed abreast of state and federal regulatory changes in response to COVID-19. If you have been fired or lost your job, remember that you still have rights to take legal action against your employer in the event of wrongful termination.

Retaliation for COVID-19 Reporting and Mishandling

Employees who report misconduct, lapses in safety, or mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic are protected against any retaliatory action including dismissal. If you have reported unsafe working conditions, discrimination, harassment, or any illegal conduct by your employer and lost your job, you may have a legal claim. We will review all of the facts of your case, identify whether your employer violated employment laws and pursue your rights in the case of wrongful termination. Your employer may not retaliate against you for reporting health and safety concerns at work.

Our Minnesota attorneys are experienced in wrongful termination and can help clients in any of the following situations:

  • You were fired because of COVID-19 and a related disability protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • You were unfairly targeted and dismissed during the coronavirus pandemic because of your nationality, race, or ethnic identity
  • You reported unsafe working conditions or a lack of protective gear and were subsequently fired
  • You were fired or terminated as a response to COVID-19 but believe you were unfairly targeted because you are a woman, pregnant, or a member of another protected class

Discrimination and Wrongful Termination

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer may force an employee to stay home if the employer believes that the employee will pose a direct threat to the workplace due to having or being exposed to a serious infectious disease. Under Minnesota’s Stay at Home order law, unless you are working in the critical sector, you should remain at home. If you are in the critical sector but have additional risks because of an underlying condition, you can ask for “reasonable accommodations.” Eligible employees may also be entitled to a protected leave of absence. If you have questions about how your disability might impact your ability to stay home during the coronavirus outbreak our attorneys can help.

Constructive Discharge in Coronavirus Cases

If you weren’t fired directly but the workplace conditions and exposure to COVID-19 made your workplace intolerable you may have a legal claim. In some cases, the working conditions and your subsequent resignation could be considered a termination. This means that under the law you could be treated as if you have been fired, giving you additional rights not available to other employees who simply quit. Federal laws prohibit discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Minnesota and federal laws also require employers to provide a safe work environment. If you were harassed or discriminated because of gender, race, religion, or disability and it caused you to quit your job after the COVID-19 outbreak, you might have the right to bring a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Contact Our COVID-19 Lawyers and Coronavirus Employment Law Firm

During these uncertain times, you want support and guidance to ensure that you have the compensation and wages you are entitled to. Our attorneys at Wanta Thome PLC are committed to bringing you strategic, informed, and results-driven advocacy to help you protect your rights in any wrongful termination matter. If you were fired for reasons related to COVID-19, contact us today for a free initial consultation.