Maxine Neuhauser, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice in the Newark office, was quoted in an article about legal protections for employees as the country enters a second swine flu season this fall.
The article, “Swine Flu: The Second Wave—Workers’ sick days may not be enough in a pandemic,” stated that there is little legal protection for employees from being fired if they contract swine flu. Florida is an at-will state, meaning employers have the right to fire employees without contract or union protection.
Neuhauser pointed out that workers who are ill for longer than their vacation and sick days allow can sometimes take short-term disability, which pays a portion of salary, but not all employers offer it as a benefit. Florida doesn’t mandate employers offer short-term disability coverage.
Employees with swine flu complications or who needs to care for a sick family member could qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, if they work for a company with 50 or more employees, she said. But that leave is generally unpaid.