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The Law & You

Can I Be Fired If I Want to Work From Home?

The Law & You
March 23, 2020

The Law and You

Can I Be Fired If I Want to Work From Home?

I am petrified of the Coronavirus. I really want to work from home. Can my employer fire me if I refuse to go to work but agree to work from home?

Haley: It’s time once again for the Law and You. Joining us today we have attorneys Molly Clark and Greg Fellerman back with us. Today’s Question- a hot button topic. We’re talking Coronavirus

Molly: Oh yes.

Haley: Yeah so let’s get onto this question submitted from Erin in Edwardsville. She says, “I am petrified of the Coronavirus. I really want to work from home. Can my employer fire me if I refuse to go to work but agree to work from home?” This is a great question a lot of us are probably thinking about this.

Molly: Oh absolutely Erin, and I think I need a little bit more information about your job, if you have a contract. In most situations in Pennsylvania you’ll be an at will employee. Which means that your employer can fire you for absolutely anything, so I don’t think, unless you have some type of contract, or you’re in a union or some other circumstances that I’m not aware of with this just limited question here. You probably do have to go to work, just because of the law in Pennsylvania- that you’re an at will employee. I understand your concerns, we’ve all talked about it in our office, we’re all concerned about it as well. I think if you can work remotely I think your employer should work with you. And this is a scary time so I think they should work with you, but the short answer without any more information is that you can get fired for anything in Pennsylvania.

Greg: I agree with Molly. It’s really a work specific issue. Justified or not justified I think the employer will have the ultimate control here. I think what we’re seeing is a lot of employers are trying to find work- arounds for people to work remotely. And if they put those in place then obviously they’re being proactive in doing that. I think that’s really smart. We’re doing that at our place, we’re looking to see how things unfold, and we’re also set up for that. You know, our job, we fortunately can work remotely, so, more facts are definitely needed on this and this is going to be a developing area with people and what happens during this scare. But hopefully it all passes over and we can move on, and things can get back to normal.

Haley: Yeah. We’re ready for that.

Molly: Absolutely.

Haley: Right. Well some good advice today guys thank you so much for coming in.

Greg: Our pleasure.

Haley: If you have some more questions for them, pick up the phone, give them a call, find them online and send your questions to the Law and You to PAhomepage.com

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The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.

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