Legal Lens: Can you be fired for missing too much work due to COVID?

Legal Lens

The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – Dealing with COVID is bad enough, but missing work and getting fired because of missed time would be another level of stress and hardship. We wanted to know: can you be fired for missing too many days due to COVID-related symptoms?

“It is scary and it’s not that extreme now, but—technically—yes,” said Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen. “Missouri is an at-will state. You can be fired for any reason or no reason, except a protected reason like race, religion, gender, things like that. So, yes, unless it’s a protected reason, you can be fired.

Are there any protections or exceptions?

“Yes…protections for those with a disability. What we have seen is some of those people with COVID have developed into long haulers,” McNairy said. “People have sought disability protection. and received them due to COVID.”

McNairy has advice for people facing this situation.

“I was hard pressed to find cases on this and I think that’s because there has been an appreciation in the workplace for this,” she said. “My best advice is communication. There have been some reimbursements to employers for sick time, OT time for the vaccine. Communication is key.”

Does McNairy foresee any bills in states to protect people moving forward?

“Yes, there has been a bill introduced in Missouri moving forward…which provided some protection for people suffering from COVID, and guidelines for employers for people having to take leave of work due to COVID,” she said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

More local COVID-19 maps and stats


Latest News

More News