The reduction in business activity forced many employers to layoff staff. Nevertheless, beware of terminating employees who have made claims or are in a protected status. For instance, if an employee requests FFCRA leave, and an employer immediately terminates the employee, that employee may have a very strong wrongful termination case. However, where an employer legitimately terminated an employee because of the COVID business climate, that employee will not be eligible for FFCRA leave. When an employee requests leave, the most important issue might be who acted first. In other words, did the employee ask for leave before termination, or did the employer terminate before the employee asked for leave?
Employees may have protected status because of disabilities, sex, race, gender, military services, etc. Employers should still act thoughtfully before terminating such employees.
Terminations almost always trigger unemployment benefits.
S. Ward Heinrichs, Esq.
Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs
4565 Ruffner Street, Suite 207
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 408-7543 (fax)