Could you be fired for missing work during a natural disaster?
Yes, in most instances the employer has the right to terminate due to “at will” law.
Business attorney, Brian Douglas
As people continue to prepare for Hurricane Michael, could that also be putting your job security in jeopardy?
Adam Longo and the Verify team got answers about what you should regarding this viral rumor.
The Verify team is giving you the facts on all things hurricane related swirling around online.
Like your employment, some people have been chatting online about employees being at risk for being fire if they miss work during Hurricane Michael. that are asked to work during the storm can be fired for not showing up. So our team got answers.
You may recall a viral letter from a Pizza Hut chain in Florida during Hurricane Irma that said In the event of an evacuation, you must return within 72 hours" and "failure to show up regardless of reason will be documented."
Our researchers tracked down a business attorney, who explained employers do have the right to fire employees due to at will employment.
Georgia based lawyer, Brian Douglas from Brian M. Douglas & Associates LLC, told WUSA9 News researchers all states recognize some sort of "at will" employment, meaning that absent a written employment contract and employer may terminate an employee for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all.
"At will" employment means that the employer can terminate the employee for any non-discriminatory reason. This means that the employer does not have to establish just cause for the termination," Douglas said.
Remember a state of emergency does not apply to private businesses with work absence except for mandatory evacuations, our experts say in that instance you may have some legal rights if termination occurs because if your employer demands you go to work, it's a direct violation of a lawful order of the government telling you NOT to be in a certain area.
But Douglas also explained,"Regardless of whether your employer has a right to force you to go to work or not, any employer that requires their employee comes to work during a state of emergency would be liable if anything were to happen to the employees during that time.
Meaning the building was blown down, a tree fell on the building.. anyone that got hurt, there would certainly be civil liability to the employer for making their employees come into work during that time."