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There's a popular thread on Twitter in light of COVID–19 that brings attention to all the workplaces where people could work from home (due to being tech/knowledge workers), but, for one reason or another, aren't allowed to:

https://twitter.com/dhh/status/1239286206803742721

Do you know of a tech company that’s asking people who could work from home to come to the office? Reply to this thread, so we can track these irresponsible organizations, and remember their names even after this is over.

What's the legal perspective on this issue in the United States?

  • Can COVID-19 be classified as an occupational hazard for an average tech-worker / knowledge-worker?
  • Is it reasonable for a tech-worker to not physically show up to work in light of possible COVID-19 exposure concerns, especially for companies that do not restrict arrivals from outside the local area from being in the same space as the local folk? (Do companies have a duty of care to enforce 14-day self-quarantines for any of their workers in the US right now?)
  • If you get fired over avoiding the workplace in light of coronavirus concerns, what's the likelihood of winning a wrongful termination lawsuit?
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  • If you don't want to turn up when your employer says to, termination is the only outcome. Whether you choose it or they do, is the individual choice. – Nij Mar 15 '20 at 22:32
  • @Nij do they not have duty of care given what is known about mortality rates? – cnst Mar 15 '20 at 22:48
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    Employers have a duty of care when a legitimate risk is present. Unless this workplace has a BSL4 laboratory studying SARS-Covid-19 or the government has mandated people avoid all contact between groups of more than 3, that's not a presumption a reasonable person could accept. – Nij Mar 16 '20 at 4:27

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