Employment concerns as the COVID-19 pandemic continues

Posted at 11:23 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 23:23:52-04

NEW CASTLE — A woman who reached out to WRTV said she was fired from a salon after quarantining for three days with coronavirus symptoms.

The business says that's not why she was fired but what can you do if you think you're in a similar situation?

Kaye Page said she has plans to become a hairstylist so she decided to take a job at the Great Clips in New Castle to get her foot in the door.

"I am actually not licensed yet so I've been doing receptionist there for two years now," Page said.

Like many businesses, the salon where Page worked closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When they reopened, the new protocols put in place didn't sit well with some customers.

"We had been threatened on multiple occasions for requiring face masks," Page said.

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Then, what Page had been trying to avoid happened.

"About the end of the third week, I got sick with coronavirus symptoms," Page said. "I talked to my manager and asked her, 'What should I do?' She said coming in for me was not an option and to go to the doctor so I did."

On her doctor's orders, Page took three days off work, returning with a doctor's note but she said it didn't stop her general manager from terminating her.

"Being fired with a doctor's note during a global pandemic, it's a lot," Page said.

WRTV reached out to the Department of Labor and Department of Workforce Development about the situation to try to get some answers for Page and anyone who thinks they might have been fired for similar reasons.

Within 30 days of being fired, a person can file a complaint on the Department of Labor's website if they think they've been unjustly terminated for following safety and health guidelines. A department spokesperson also said you can find a lawyer who deals specifically with employee rights to see if you have a case.

The Department of Workforce Development also wants people to know you are eligible for unemployment if you refuse to go back because you or someone you live with has COVID-19 or if you're quarantining on the advice of your doctor. It's best to get a doctor's note to have documentation.

Managers at the Great Clips in New Castle, where Page worked, told WRTV they did not fire her over anything to do with COVID-19 but rather multiple issues over the last eight-month period.