If I refuse to return to work because of unsafe /unhealthy work conditions must my employer pay me until the conditions are fixed and i can return.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I refuse to return to work because of unsafe /unhealthy work conditions must my employer pay me until the conditions are fixed and i can return.

A highly infectious disease has spread throughout my work place, due to certain variables My employers failed to fully contain the outbreak properly for 30 days.I have exercised my right to refuse to return to work until said conditions are properly decontaminated and no longer a threat to my health. Must my place of employment pay me for the time I refused to return?

Asked on December 27, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unless you used paid sick days you'd earned for your time away from work, they have no obligation to pay you for the time you refused to work. Contrary to your evident belief, the law does not give an employee the right to determine that he or she thinks that a workplace is infectious and decline to work; not only does the employer not owe you pay for the days you miss, but be aware that not only could they terminate your for your missed days, but they could in fact terminate you "for cause" for absenteeism and so deny you unemployment benefits.

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