These Are Your Workplace Rights During COVID

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COVID-19 is far from under control, and given nationwide inconsistencies in how protective measures are being enforced, it could be a while before things look like they did before. Many businesses are looking for ways to inch closer to normal, though, and that includes bringing employees back onsite. Despite so many workers doing their jobs from home (not to mention all those who cannot), remote work may not remain the norm forever.


That doesn't mean every office or workplace will feel safe to every employee by the time it comes on offer. Enter Alison Green, who runs the invaluable workplace etiquette and explanatory blog Ask a Manager. On Kiplinger's podcast Your Money's Worth, Green delves into whether your boss can make you go back to work in person. In short? Maybe not; it's a little complicated and lot down to individual circumstances, but no matter what, know your rights going into any relevant conversation.

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Primarily, it's worth understanding certain accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act. "According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employees with disabilities that put them at high risk for complications from the pandemic can request telework as a 'reasonable accommodation' to reduce their chances of infection," per Yahoo Finance. Before you go that route, however, check in with your managers about your own comfort levels, even if you don't have preexisting conditions like diabetes, a suppressed immune system, or a chronic illness. If you're able to perform your duties via telework, that conversation may be less uncomfortable than you fear.