Commentary & Opinion

Workplace things COVID has not changed: You can still fire dishonest employees

By Jon Hyman

Jun. 22, 2021

Suppose an employee leaves work claiming COVID-like symptoms. He then calls off work for the next two weeks, claiming he is quarantining at home at his doctor’s recommendation.

Can you fire the employee during that quarantine period? Does your opinion change if you learn during the quarantine that the employee’s doctor never recommended the quarantine and the employee lied about receiving that recommendation?

Those are the basic facts of O’Bryan v. Joe Taylor Restoration, and upon which a federal court jury in southern Florida recently entered a verdict in favor of the employer.

O’Bryan’s lawsuit claimed that his employer had denied him paid sick leave under the FFCRA during his quarantine and retaliated against him for seeking paid sick leave. The employer uncovered his dishonesty when it saw a discrepancy between the alleged note ordering the quarantine and a later note authorizing his return to work.
COVID has altered a lot about the workplace. Thankfully, however, the ability of an employer to fire a dishonest employee has not been one of them.
Jon Hyman is a partner in the Employment & Labor practice at Wickens Herzer Panza. Contact Hyman at JHyman@Wickenslaw.com.

About Workforce.com

blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Compliance

Minimum Wage by State in 2022 – All You Need to Know

Summary The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25, but the rate is higher in 30 states, along with Washing...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance

workforce blog

Legal

California’s push for a 32-hour workweek explained, and how to prepare

Summary: California is considering a 32-hour workweek bill for businesses with over 500 staff 4 day wee...

32 hour workweek, 4 day workweek, california, legislature, overtime

workforce blog

Legal

A business owner’s guide to restaurant tipping law

Business owners in the restaurant industry are in a unique position when it comes to employee tips. As ...

restaurants, tip laws, tipping