Pennsylvania Employee’s Failure to Report to Work During a State of Emergency Law

The Pennsylvania Employee’s Failure to Report to Work During a State of Emergency Law, 43 P.S. §148, provides that an employer may not terminate or discipline an employee for failing to report to work due to a closure of the roads in the county of the employer’s place of business or the county of the employee’s residence resulting from a state of emergency declared by the Governor of Pennsylvania. Discipline is defined as the taking of any action against an employee which adversely affects regular pay, job status, opportunity for promotion or the right to any benefit granted by the employer to other similarly situated employees. However, under this law an employer is not required to pay an employee for a workday on which the employee fails to report to work due to road closures.

An employee may bring a civil action against an employer who terminates or disciplines an employee for failing to report to work due to a closure of the of the roads. An employee must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the employer intentionally and knowingly violated the law and file the civil action within 90 days of the date the cause of action arises. A court may enter an injunction ordering the employer to revoke the disciplinary action or penalty, reinstate the employee, award damages in the amount of wages and benefits lost from the time of the violation to the time of compliance, and award court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

The law does not apply to drivers of emergency vehicles, essential corrections personnel, police, emergency service personnel, hospital and nursing home staffs, pharmacists, essential health care professionals, public utility personnel, employees of radio or television stations engaged in the gathering and dissemination of news, road crews and oil and milk truck delivery personnel.

If you have been subjected to disciplinary action or terminated for failing to report to work when roads were closed, call Abramson Employment Law at 267-470-4742, or contact us online to discuss your legal options for any claim under the Pennsylvania Employee’s Failure to Report to Work during a State of Emergency Law.

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