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LIFE is slowly returning to a new normal across the US - but some workers may be worried about what this means for them.

If you don't want to return to the workplace, we explain if you can refuse without losing your job and what your rights are.

1If you're worried about returning to work, we explain your rightsCredit: Getty - Contributor

It comes as government workers can return to offices without having been vaccinated, according to a 20-page memo seen by Reuters this week.

It also urged government agencies to be flexible, which could include part-time remote work on a permanent basis or working other hours.

The federal government employs more than 4million people, making it the largest employer in the US.

Below we explain what rights you have if you don't want to return, whatever the reason.

Can I refuse to go back to work?

If you're sick

It remains the case that anyone who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild, should not leave their house to go to work.

If you're well, but have a sick family member or recently had close contact with someone with Covid, let your employer know.

You should also follow precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC).

If you're worried about safety

Where you're not ill but you're concerned about your safety in the office, talk to your employer.

Employers have been given safety guidance and measures by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and CDC to follow.

This could include the use of face masks, physical distancing and installing temporary barriers and shields as well as spacing out workstations.

Employers are also required to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, sink handles and workstations.

This should be done before your return, so double-check that your employer has done this.

If you're vulnerable and high risk

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, disabled workers may be legally entitled to extra flexibility to protect them from Covid.

For example, if they aren't protected through vaccination, can't get vaccinated or can't use face masks.

If that's the case, employers should take extra steps to protect them, regardless of their vaccination status, according to OSHA.

If you prefer to work from home - or you're on unemployment benefits

If you're simply too comfortable at home and don't want to go back for this reason, you may struggle to argue your case.

Employers have the right to tell you where they'd like you to work, so you'll need to return to the office if you're asked to.

However, plenty will be flexible following the pandemic.

Ultimately, the best thing to do is to be open and try and work something out with your employer.

In May, President Joe Biden also warned that anyone receiving unemployment benefits who is offered a "reasonable job" must take it.

If you don't, you risk losing your benefit payments.

What can I do if my employer fires me?

If you're fired and you can prove your employer hasn't acted reasonably, you may be able to start a claim for "wrongful termination".

This could be if you, for example, lost your job for bringing up safety concerns to your employer, according to law firm Morgan & Morgan.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH) prohibits employers from firing an employee for filing a complaint about workplace safety.

Or if you're disabled, you may be able to claim that the termination was wrong under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A wrongful termination claim can be filed in a court of law, so be aware you'll likely need an lawyer and plenty of evidence.

If you're successful, you could get compensation for lost wages, benefits and sometimes also emotional distress.

Meanwhile, it's "unlikely" that virus fears or preferring to work from home is a legally defensible excuse for refusing to return to work, according to the California Employers Association.

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In February, there were reports Brit office workers could be checked by "fever cameras" to stop the spread.

Meanwhile, you can earn more on unemployment benefits instead of working in these states due to stimulus aid.

However, 300,000 Americans in these four states are set to lose extra unemployment benefits tomorrow.

Man given final $915 paycheck in 91,500 greasy PENNIES with 'f--- you' note after he complained of 'toxic' workplace

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Bucks arena briefly evacuated due to emergency following Nets game

FiServ Forum, home of the Milwaukee Bucks, was briefly evacuated Sunday due to an unspecified emergency following Game 4 of their second round series against the Nets.

There were multiple reports of a fire within the arena, however, the cause of the incident could not immediately be confirmed.

The evacuation, which included both teams and the media, lasted less than a half hour.

The Bucks won on Sunday to even the series.

Filed under brooklyn nets ,  milwaukee bucks ,  6/13/21

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