Got coronavirus? Better be honest with your boss, legal experts say

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Workers who don’t disclose to their employers that they have the coronavirus could be violating the law, experts say.

Alan Crone, an employment law attorney in Memphis, says a worker who has tested positive could face health department penalties and possible lawsuits from coworkers if they don’t disclose that information.

“If you know that you are positive and you go out into the workforce and start infecting people, then those people may have a civil claim against you for their illness,” Crone said. “And God forbid if someone should die.”

Crone says employees could be looking at federal and state prosecution.

He also says employers could have the right to terminate a worker who didn’t disclose.

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich says if people are not going to obey the law, whether it’s laws the legislature passed or laws of executive order, her office is running and the police department is doing its job.

She said new laws could be needed to protect people in the workplace and in public from those who would intentionally spread COVID-19.

“Depending on how reckless, how careless and intentional someone might be in their behavior, we may not have statutes on the books for COVID-19, but we have other laws on the books we can use to hold offenders accountable and keep the public as safe as possible,” Weirich said.

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