COVID-19: You should not have to risk your life to earn a living.

By Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire

If White House aides and Secret Service agents can become infected with COVID-19, then who is safe? We know that hospitals, nursing homes, jails, prisons, homeless shelters, and meat packing plants are hot spots for COVID-19 infections. But, is any workplace safe from COVID-19 infections?

In the midst of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the country is abandoning stay at home orders and reopening the economy this summer. Millions of workers will be exposed to COVID-19 and, in the absence of a vaccine, thousands will die from COVID-19 infections.

For most workers, a COVID-19 infection will not be fatal. But, for a small group of workers, a COVID-19 infection will be fatal. Numbers show that for older workers with a comorbidity (hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc.) a COVID-19 infection can be fatal.

Americans with Disability Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) offers protection to workers with disabilities who are at heightened risk from COVID-19. The ADA allows workers with disabilities to request a reasonable accommodation from their employers. Employers are obligated to provide a reasonable accommodation provided doing so does not cause an undue hardship.

In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, a reasonable accommodation would involve reducing a worker’s exposure to COVID-19 until an effective COVID-19 vaccine can be administered. The ideal reasonable accommodation would be for the worker to work from home. However, working from home may not be possible.

Under the ADA, the worker and their employer have to engage in an interactive process to determine what kind of reasonable accommodation is available. Employers are expected to act in good faith, but this is not always the case.

An employer may fail to provide a worker with a reasonable accommodation. Retaliation is commonplace. And, it is not unusual for an employee who has been granted a reasonable accommodation to eventually be terminated for not performing the job for which their were hired. Reasonable accommodation claims can be contentious. These claims can end up in litigation.

However, for an older worker with a comorbidity, pursuing a reasonable accommodation can be a matter of life or death.

Word of caution: Consult an experienced civil rights attorney before seeking a reasonable accommodation.

Law Office of Bryan A. Chapman

Contact:

Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire

(202) 508-1499

bchapman@baclaw.com

www.baclaw.com

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Advocating for workers against powerful employers since 1993

Bad Things Happen to Good People.

These are difficult times. You need a passionate lawyer to advise you and stand up for your rights.

What are your rights?

COVID-19 has caused massive layoffs. Nonetheless, anti-discrimination laws still exist and are enforceable. You can’t be discriminated against or harassed because of your race, sex, national origin, religion, age, or disability.

Workplace discrimination and harassment can cause stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can lead to chronic conditions, such as, high blood pressure and poor blood sugar control.

Doing nothing will harm your health. Taking action can bring relief. 

COVID-19

If you have a underlying health condition, such as, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc., that puts you at greater risk from COVID-19, you have the right to request a reasonable accommodation that reduces your exposure to COVID-19. It’s a matter of life or death.

Call Now 202 508-1499.

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Law Office of Bryan A. Chapman

Contact:

Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire

(202) 508-1499

bchapman@baclaw.com

www.baclaw.com

Join Facebook group: I Need A Discrimination Lawyer

COVID-19: The life you save may be your own.

By Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire

Speak up! If your job brings you in contact with co-workers or the general public, informing your employer about underlying health conditions that put you at greater risk of developing severe COVID-19 could save your life.

You have rights! The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) gives workers, who have disabilities that put them at greater risk of developing severe COVID-19, the legal right to request that their employer minimize their exposure to COVID-19.

There are a number of underlying conditions. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a document on March 12, 2020 titled “Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission.” The CDC document lists underlying conditions that can increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19:

  • Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners)
  • Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because kidney disease, or is under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis
  • Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor. (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis) Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.
  • Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS)
  • Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus)
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen
  • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].

You may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation. Under the ADA, some of these underlying conditions may be considered disabilities. A worker, whose disability puts them at greater risk from COVID-19, may request a reasonable accommodation that minimizes COVID-19 exposure. An employer may be obligated to provide a reasonable accommodation provided it does not create an undue hardship.

Be prepared to negotiate. The goal is to minimize your exposure to COVID-19. For instance, a worker with an underlying condition should have minimum exposure to co-workers and the general public. This may be achieved by temporarily reassigning a worker to a different work schedule, job location, or position, as well as, tele-commuting.

You could be saving your own life. Let your employer know about your underlying health condition and then negotiate for minimum COVID-19 exposure.

Law Office of Bryan A. Chapman

Contact:

Bryan A. Chapman, Esquire

(202) 508-1499

bchapman@baclaw.com

www.baclaw.com

Join Facebook group: I Need A Discrimination Lawyer