Do I Have To Return To Work After Five Days If I'm Still Sick With COVID?
Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced new guidelines for persons infected with COVID-19. Rather than quarantining for 14 days, as per the previous guidelines, now the time for quarantine has been reduced to five days. This leads to the question, can my employer fire me if I don't return to work after five days even if I am still sick with COVID?
If you qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), the answer is "No." COVID-19 clearly is a "serious health condition" under the federal FMLA. So if your employer is big enough (at least 50 employees) and you have worked enough hours over the past 12 months (at least 1,250 hours), you are entitled to take up to twelve weeks per year of medical leave for a "serious health condition" such as COVID-19. If your physician certifies that you are not able to return to work after five days, you cannot be fired.