Bennet Introduces Bill to Protect Quarantined Workers From Being Fired or Punished by Employers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Denver — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced that he joined U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and a group of their Senate colleagues in introducing legislation to prohibit employers from firing, punishing, or otherwise discriminating against a worker who is quarantined or isolated—or who is caring for a family member in quarantine or isolation—amid the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. 

“We should do all we can to provide some peace of mind to workers and families who are grappling with the coronavirus outbreak,” said Bennet. “This bill protects workers’ economic security and public health.” 

Colorado follows the legal doctrine of “employment-at-will” which means that, with the exception of anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws and contracts to the contrary, employers can fire an employee at any time for any reason. Given the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, now is an appropriate time to ensure that workers are reassured that they will not risk losing jobs if they follow the quarantine or isolation recommendations necessary to keep the public safe. 

In addition to Bennet and Smith, the legislation is supported by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Va.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The bill text is available HERE