Van Wey, Metzler & Williams

Essential Worker

Are you or a loved one being forced to work as an “essential worker” during the current health scenario even though it may be unsafe and dangerous and even though you should not be classified as an “essential worker”?

“Essential Worker” Lawsuit

This current situation has been especially difficult for those labeled as essential workers. They are expected to go to work every day and to place not only their own health and life in danger, but also the health and lives of everyone they interact with. Several companies have failed to listen to their workers’ needs and have refused to comply with state health mandates regarding the current state of affairs by stating that every worker is an “essential worker” even if they should not be classified as one.

Additionally, employees have been subject to adverse employment actions for refusing to comply with their companies’ harmful policies, which force them to work in unsafe environments exposing themselves and others to the coronavirus despite “Shelter in Place” orders.

To discuss the specifics of your essential worker lawsuit, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

By submitting a case evaluation form, you may be sent essential worker related updates by our law firm.

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What is an Essential Worker?

The definition of “essential worker” may vary from state to state. However, these are generally workers who must go into work to provide essential services where remote working is not practical or possible. In California, essential services in the healthcare sector include health care providers, hospital and laboratory personnel, workers in medical facilities, manufacturers, technicians, warehouse operators, distributors of medical equipment and supplies, public health/community health workers, behavioral health workers, blood and plasma donors, workers that manage health plans who cannot practically work remotely, workers who provide support to high-risk populations to make sure their health is taken care of, workers performing cybersecurity functions at healthcare and public health facilities who cannot work remotely, workers performing disease research, workers performing emergency operations for healthcare entities who cannot work practically work remotely, workers who support shelters and social services for the economically disadvantaged, pharmacy employees, workers providing mortuary services, and those who provide veterinary services.

In Texas, for example, “Essential Businesses” include essential healthcare operations, essential government functions, essential critical infrastructure, stores that sell groceries and other supplies, restaurants, food cultivation, delivery of grocery and essential supplies, transportation, gas stations and businesses needed for transportation, critical trades, construction, professional services, financial institutions, IT services, essential retail, hotels and motels, providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations, essential services necessary to maintain essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, supplies to work from home, public and private education, news media, childcare services, animal care services, religious and worship services, and funeral services.

Several companies, like VITAS® Healthcare have falsely claimed that their entire work force is essential and are forcing people who can work remotely to place themselves and others in danger by working in-person in order to push a profit. Several news outlets have reported on VITAS® Healthcare’s unsavory behavior, and our firm has already filed suit in California:

The California “Shelter in Place” order mandated that people stay home except as needed to maintain essential services. By improperly labeling its employees as essential, VITAS® Healthcare and other companies are unlawfully ignoring the mandate and putting their employees’ and others’ lives in danger.

Companies like VITAS® have thus improperly stated that their entire workforce is an essential worker in an attempt to circumvent “Shelter in Place” orders around the country.

What is an adverse employment action?

Companies during the current health situation, like VITAS® Healthcare, have engaged in adverse employment actions against their employees who have refused to comply with their company’s requirements to work in-person despite the “Shelter in Place” orders and despite the fact that those workers are not “essential” under state mandates. An adverse employment action is any conduct that is reasonably likely to negatively impact a reasonable employee’s job performance, advancement, or promotion. An adverse employment action may look like:

  • Firing
  • Demotion
  • Lowering compensation
  • Unpaid leave
  • Taking away/reassigning responsibilities
  • Failing to promote
  • Suspension

These actions force the employees to violate state “Shelter in Place” mandates and clearly show that these companies place their profits over the well-being of their employees.

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How Can We Help You?

If you or someone you know has been forced to work as an “essential worker” during this coronavirus pandemic at the risk of their own health and well-being in violation of “Shelter in Place” orders and/or who has received or faced the threat of an adverse employment action for refusing to follow company policy that endangers your health, contact us today to further evaluate your rights to compensation.

Here at Van Wey, Metzler & Williams, we have more than 100 combined years of experience fighting against a healthcare industry that seems to put profits over patients. This includes doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare entities.

You are entitled to a safe workplace, and you are entitled to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of the current health nightmare. You are entitled to protection against adverse employment actions for informing your employer about unsafe work conditions.

We welcome your phone call or email

Contact Us Today!

To Discuss Your Case