Know your rights before heading back to work

Local law firm gives advice
Posted at 7:39 PM, May 13, 2020

As the process of reopening Louisiana's economy goes into effect Friday, Offering Solutions Law Firm in Lafayette says they've been receiving a lot of questions.

"Under federal law, employers are under a general obligation to provide a safe workplace," said Tom Long.

Each industry has its own safety standards, and for some workers finding out those guidelines can be difficult.

"If your industry isn't one of those that's an essential worker, then you can look toward the CDC guidance, CDC.GOV has some great guidance, state of Louisiana website, you can go to the main page, there's resources there," said Long.

It's important to know Louisiana is an At-Will Employment State, so not showing up out of fear of getting sick could lead to getting fired.

"Refusing to show up at work after you have been instructed to return to work puts you at risk, especially if there's no stay at home order that protects you," said Long.

The exception to this rule would be a doctor's note stating being at work puts you at risk.

"It's much different if you have a diagnosis illness. Of course, everyone has to abide by what your doctor tells you," says Long.

If you happen to notice your place of work isn't following protocol, Long says you should report it to your Human Resource Department right away.

"Most employers are reasonable to work with because they rather have a happy, healthy worker than someone who's not going to show up," said Long.