Ala. employers can legally require you to get tested for COVID-19

Updated: Jun. 29, 2020 at 8:21 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you're looking for a job, or planning to head back into your office soon, you may be required to get tested for COVID-19.

But is it even legal for your employer to require that?

In short, the answer is yes.

But, there are some things you need to consider.

Alabama is an employment at-will state.

That means your employer can hire or fire you for any reason, as long as it's not discriminatory.

So if your employer requires you to get tested before returning, or if a potential employer requires testing before hiring you, that's within their legal rights to do that.

But can your employer fire you if you get the virus?

“That’s going to be a really-debated issue about whether that becomes a disability. Or whether you can show you contracted it at work, does that then become a workers compensation situation? So that is an issue we see on the horizon,” said Kirby Farris, a partner with Farris, Riley, & Pitt, LLP.

Farris said it’s also within your employer’s rights not to pay you if you have to quarantine and take off work while you’re sick with COVID-19.

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