employee rights

COVID-19 Employer and Employee Rights: Texas Lawyer Q&A With Rogge Dunn

Many essential employees required to work amid the COVID-19 crisis are concerned about the risks of contracting the virus. They’re left with a dilemma: do they keep working as normal even if they feel that certain job tasks are unsafe? Or do they exercise their employee rights under OSHA and walk off the job? Further convoluting the situation is the fact that many employees are unsure of their options when it comes to legal employee rights.

In an article by Texas Lawyer, employment attorney Rogge Dunn answers questions in an effort to help both employees and employers understand their rights and risks as they pertain to COVID-19.

Here are a few of Dunn’s key points in response to Texas Lawyer’s questions. To read the full article, click here.

Texas Lawyer: Do government workers have the right to walk off their jobs if the working conditions are unsafe due to COVID-19?

Dunn: An OSHA regulation allows employees to refuse to work when serious danger exists that cannot be eliminated. However, employees have to meet four strict requirements in order to be granted workplace safety protections. Because of this, the courts have often ruled in favor of the employer. Government workers can possibly lose their license or face criminal charges if they walk off the job. Therefore, government workers need to proceed carefully. They must weigh the adverse consequences if they refuse to work due to COVID-19 safety concerns.

Texas Lawyer: What about workers in the private sector?

Dunn: The OSHA regulation protection mentioned above applies to public workers as well. However, public workers don’t run the risk of losing their license or facing criminal charges if they refuse to work.

Texas Lawyer: Are there any times where no worker has the right to walk off their jobs?

Dunn: Although the OSHA regulation gives workers an absolute right to walk off their jobs, they could still face serious consequences for doing so.

Texas Lawyer: What are some things attorneys in the labor and employment practice area should be doing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dunn: They need to prepare employers for a multitude of legal issues and help them stay compliant with the numerous recently passed federal laws. Employers should seek legal advice to understand employee rights before they take any action against an employee. Attorneys representing employees should familiarize themselves with workplace laws, both new and long-standing, and protections available to employees.

Texas Lawyer: If you are an employer or a worker thinking about litigating, what kinds of questions should you be asking?

Dunn: Employers and employees should work together to find common sense resolutions. When issues arise, employees should approach their employer as a unified group. An employer must consider the risks, both from a legal and reputation standpoint, for firing or retaliating against employees who refuse to work.


Rogge Dunn is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law. To learn more about Rogge Dunn’s legal experience, click here. To get in touch with Rogge Dunn Group, click here.

MEDIA

COVID-19 Continues to Create Employment Issues
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Interviewed by AdvisorHub on Multi-Million Comp Award to Former Credit Suisse Brokers
READ MORE
How a FINRA Compliance Lawyer Can Help
READ MORE
CoStar News Interviews Rogge Dunn on Pandemic-Related Layoffs
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Group Represents Ex-CFO Allegedly Fired for Whistleblowing
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Interviewed on WFAA Regarding COVID-19 in the Workplace
READ MORE
Aug. 20, 2020: Rogge Dunn to Speak in Live CLE Webcast on How To Manage and Resolve Complex Commercial Disputes
READ MORE
Big Changes for Title IX: New Title IX Requirements
READ MORE
Fired for Following the Law? Wrongful Termination Cases During COVID-19
READ MORE
COVID-19 Employment Rights: Dallas Business Journal Q&A with Rogge Dunn
READ MORE
Blue Angels Fly By Our Office Patio
READ MORE
Recent Developments in Non-Compete Laws
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Interviewed on KHOU 11 Regarding the Requirements for Unemployment Benefits
READ MORE
Rogge Dunn Addresses Workers’ Concerns on KPRC 2 News
READ MORE
Star Local Media Interviews Rogge Dunn on Client’s Coronavirus-Related Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
READ MORE
Joshua Iacuone on NBC DFW: Iacuone and Dunn Represent Employee Fired For COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Compliance
READ MORE

Contact Us Today!

Contact us to learn how we can help answer your legal questions.

FILL OUT FORM