Is it legal for a company to stop paying a worker if they travel?
March 20, 2020 6:54 AM   Subscribe

There is a textile manufacturing company in North Carolina that is telling its workers to quarantine for 2 weeks without pay if they travel (for work or personal reasons). Is this legal?
posted by congen to Work & Money (3 answers total)
I'm not a lawyer, but I think it depends on who is giving that order. Based on the NC Coronavirus FAQ, if the company got a medical professional to state that everyone who travels must stay home, this is probably legal and the worker can apply for short term unemployment under the revised law they passed last week. If the owner or whoever made the policy themselves its less clear, but NC is pretty employer friendly so it may still be legal as long as it is a blanket policy, if they apply it on a case-by-case basis it's probably discrimination. The protections for salary employees are stronger and they must allow paid sick leave in that case I think. In any case the worker should apply for unemployment ASAP
posted by JZig at 8:18 AM on March 20

As of now, they can't actually force you to quarantine (as in, stay in the house), but they can choose to cut your hours as they like (unless you have a contractual arrangement to the contrary). North Carolina has no mandatory sick leave for private employers.

It does appear that people in that situation will be eligible for unemployment insurance for the time they are off work. The person should apply immediately.
posted by praemunire at 10:00 AM on March 20

They should contact their Dept. of Labor.
posted by theora55 at 11:43 AM on March 20

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