Wyatt Employment Law Report

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Emergency Influenza Containment Act Introduced

By Mitzi Wyrick

Emergency temporary legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would require employers to provide up to five days of paid time off to workers who are sent home because they are sick.  Employers would not be required to pay employees who stay home voluntarily, but employers would be required to pay employees who are sent home.  As currently drafted, the Emergency Influenza Containment Act guarantees a sick worker up to five paid sick leave days a year if an employer ‘directs’ or ‘advises’ a sick employee to stay home or go home.  This law would cover the H1N1 flu virus as well as other infectious diseases and would be in effect for two years after passage.  The legislation covers both full-time and part-time workers (on a pro-rated basis) in businesses with 15 or more workers, but employers that already provide at least 5 days’ paid sick leave are exempt.  Employees who follow their employer’s direction to stay home because of contagious illness cannot be fired, disciplined or be subject to retaliation.  A committee hearing is expected to be held on this legislation during the week of November 16th.

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Kentucky Court Rejects Wrongful Discharge Claim

By Kristie Alfred Daugherty

On August 14, 2009, the Court of Appeals of Kentucky handed down a decision in the case of Welsh v. Phoenix Transportation Services, LLC, No. 2007-CA-001231, 2009 WL 2475206 (Ky. App. Aug. 14, 2009), holding that absent an affirmative request by the employer for an employee to violate the law, the employee’s wrongful discharge in violation of public policy claim fails. 

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