How Covid-19 is Impacting Labor and Employee Laws

Things are changing and a new norm is being created after the pandemic. Covid-19 has impacted all aspects of our lives, but how is it impacting places of employment and employment labor laws in Arizona? 

Just recently, Maricopa County announced that masks are mandatory in public. This includes where you work. Some companies already made it mandatory, but for the time being, now everyone in the county must comply. 

Some places are even limiting the number of people allowed in an establishment and making clear marks of social distancing. 

Working During a Pandemic

Some people do not feel comfortable returning back to work just yet. So, then what?

Well, the employer actually has leverage when requiring employees to return to the actual workplace. 

If the worker refuses, the employer can either offer to separate the worker from the public and other employees, lay off the worker, or find a replacement for the worker. 

However, keep in mind that federal law does require the need to provide a safe workplace for all employees, especially right now. 

There are some fine lines that employers need to be aware of. Allowing certain employees to continue to work at home because they have compromised immune systems and requiring others to return to a workplace is actually looked down on according to federal law. This is because you cannot decide who is allowed to return back to work based on disabilities, only using seniority and disciplinary history.

State of Arizona

In the state of Arizona, if you resign voluntarily, you usually can’t receive unemployment. But what happens if you feel unsafe to return to work? That is a different story. 

If you can provide real proof of unsafe conditions at your workplace, you could receive compensation and be justified for leaving your job. Before doing so, always talk with the Department of Economic Security to address all of our concerns and report any safety concerns to OSHA. 

Talk With an Employment Law Attorney

If you are unsure about your rights during a pandemic, as an employer or an employee, it is always best to talk with an experienced employment law attorney. They will be able to walk you through everything to ensure all of your questions are being answered, even during the pandemic. 

We specialize in employment law at Thunderbird Law Group and can provide you the advice you need to fully understand your rights during these times.


Legal issues can be very timely matters that require immediate attention – the faster you begin pursuing resolutions, the better your chances of obtaining them. Contact us for further information.

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