Starting June 26, 2020, Philadelphia employees are protected from retaliation when they believe their employer is violating a public health order issued during COVID-19.
The new law, Employee Protections in Connection with COVID-19 Emergency Health Order, prohibits Philadelphia employers from taking any adverse employment action on employees who believe there is a violation of a COVID-19 public health order at work.
Once an employee notifies the employer of the suspected violation, the employer may not respond by:
- Disciplining the employee.
- Terminating the employee.
- Mandating that the employee work, despite the health concern.
- Withdrawing benefits previously given to the employee.
- Taking adverse employment action of any kind toward the employee.
Workplace conditions and refusal to work
If an employee notifies their employer of an unsafe working condition that they believe is a violation of a COVID-19 public health order, the employee is protected from retaliation if they report a violation or refuse to come to work.
Employees cannot refuse to work when:
- The business provides a reasonable alternative work assignment that does not expose the employee to the unsafe condition.
- Upon inspection by the Philadelphia or Pennsylvania Department of Health, the business proves it is compliant with all public health orders addressing safe workplace practices.
How to file a complaint
If you believe you have experienced a violation of this law, you can file a complaint with the Office of Benefits and Wage Compliance in the Mayor’s Office of Labor.
To file a complaint, fill out and sign the COVID-19 protection from retaliation complaint form. You can send your completed form to COVID19WorkplaceProtections@phila.gov or mail it to:
Office of Benefits and Wage Compliance
100 S. Broad St., 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102