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Can a job fire you due to Covid-19?

My fiancee just got fired from his job, after a 2 week leave for being exposed to the coronavirus through a friend. He told his boss that he felt perfectly fine to work but they made him take 2 weeks off, today he finally got to go back to work and they fired him. They said he was lying about being in contact with the Covid-19 (even tho we had proof) and even after he said multiple times he can go back to work but they made him stay out for over 2 weeks. Can they legally fire him?


We live in Georgia 

Update 2:

I'm gonna post the full story, if anyone cares.

He worked for a small company (5 people work there) and its family owned. We had contact through a friend, but we had to signs of infection  but because his boss has a weak immune system and my fiance had bad allergies one day they sent him home, and at first it was just for 2 days. But monday came and he got a call from his boss saying he needs to be tested before he comes in, so we called our doctor and the hospital and asked what we need to do..

Update 3:

The doctors said we can come in and get a note saying that we weren't showing signs of the virus, so they werent going to waste tests on us(we live in a rural part of town and the tests are very limited) so we went and got that note from our doctor and he called his boss to tell him, and his boss said dont come to work without a test or stay quarantined for 2 weeks, so that's what he did. He went back to work this past monday just for his boss to tell at him and curse at him like a child..

Update 4:

Saying that my fiance knew he was infected but wanted to spread it to the people at his work. But his boss then said unless you just want to admit you were lying about the whole thing and you can work, of course my fiance isnt a lier and he wasnt having that so he gave him the doctors note and drove off.

Unfortunately, he was not there long enough to collect unemployment. But thankfully my father was able to give him a job and he started work today.

Thank you all for your answers 

106 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Where does your friend work at and what exactly is his proof you vaguely mention? Does your friend have: A) Hard copy medical leave instructions/documentation from his workplace HR Department? B) Hard copy medical documentation detailing his doctor's office visit and any physician's documentative notations about any treatments, testing, etc...??

    Generally, most work offices instruct employees who take off work for medical reasons to provide such medical documentation--which is kept under strict confidentiality discretion handling within the HR Department, as per any labor laws governing that particular U.S. State as mandated under Federal law(s) as well.

    So your friend DOES have rights to file for unemployment AND he also should look into filing a complaint with the EEOC office under the State of Georgia. Seeking a consultation with a reputable labor law attorney is recommended as well.

    Also something to consider: It's possible there are a few "workplace political dynamics" hiding behind HR Department stated workplace medical leave policies as their TRUE reason(s) for them career terminating your friend. 

    If that IS the REAL reason your friend was "career terminated", then it's evident they simply don't want him working for them anymore--so why then would your friend want to continue working for someone who doesn't like him in the first place?

    Even IF your friend is legally protected in being career reinstated---his angry boss(es) will simply lay in wait for finding another opportunity to end his employment.

    So even IF Georgia employment law AND Federal employment laws favor your friend's career just might be better he seek better employment opportunity somewhere else. 

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  • 2 months ago

    Yes they can fire you for any reason, but you will be eligible for unemployment compensation.  If you were fired by cause then you wouldn't be eligible.

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  • 2 months ago

    Georgia is a republican state. So i'm going to assume its a right to work state. Which means fire at will. The virus. You might have something here an attorney  can work with. Not sure.

  • 2 months ago

    It seems as though something is missing here.  While ypur fiancé came forward and told his boss he had been in contact with someone who had the virus, that could be true for many of us, so whether or not we tell our boss, it shouldn't cost us our job.  Your fiancé should have been tested when he was asked to take his break from work, and definitely before he returned. Have your fiancé contact your state's Dept.of Labor for a hearing on this.  When they investigate the "proof" presented by both sides, they can determine if the termination was, or was not, legal.

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  • 2 months ago

    You should be asking a lawyer

    • ...Show all comments
    • COCO PUFF2 months agoReport

      Many lawyers provide free consultation.  Also,  there are legal aide clinics for people who can't afford a lawyer. 

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  • 2 months ago

    If you can prove that he was fired because of COVID-19, and he has not taken 12 full weeks of medical leave, he ought to be protected under the family and medical leave act (FMLA).  I would imagine if you sued, you would win.  However, Georgia does not have its own medical leave legislation.  It would be under federal jurisdiction, which can be problematic if you don't live anywhere near a federal courthouse.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    In a true free-enterprise system employers can fire anybody they want for any reason or no reason at-all 

    • ...Show all comments
    • Yeah, but we don't live in a PURE free enterprise system.  In a pure free enterprise system there would be no bailouts...companies would sink or swim on their own.  

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  • 2 months ago

    As far as I know, most states are "at will" employment, so they can fire you for pretty much no reason at all.

  • 2 months ago

     Yes, if your a threat to others working environment, SECURITY_GUARDS/COVID--19K1O0000_USA&FEMA, can have you fired...?

    Source(s): COVID_19.
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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    just as he can quit the job at will so a employer can fire you

    the more you explain the less it made sense

    some say sue.... OK sure

    but no lawyer will take the case without you paying huge up front - retainer 

    there is no money in the case and so lawyer will not help you 

    reality is life is not fair deal with it move on do not dwell on this 

    • harpertara
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      There's specific laws in place right now. He needs to takes this to the Employment Commission

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  • 2 months ago

    Did he get a doctors note?

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