Wake County woman fired after getting tested for COVID-19, she says

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Wake County woman claims she was fired from her job after getting tested for COVID-19.

The woman said she’d been working at a La Quinta Inn & Suites in Raleigh.

She wants to remain anonymous so her story of working at the hotel doesn’t affect her other job.

“It’s emotional. It’s very stressful,” she said.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

It all started when the woman got tested for COVID-19 earlier this month.

The doctor gave her a note that said she could return to work in three days if her test returned negative.

She said her boss accused her of faking the note to get the Fourth of July off.

“She said, ‘I can’t believe you did that, you wanted to be off on the 4th, you went to extreme measures’,” the woman told CBS 17.

She showed CBS 17 text messages she says are from that manager.

In one message, the manager says “just know you not dealing with a dummy,”

“I said, ‘You don’t believe my paperwork, so I’m coming to work.’ She said ‘No, don’t come to work.'”

She told CBS 17 she never planned on going to work but said it to make a point about her doctor’s note.

“She’s like, ‘Well, you’re fired,’ and I was like, ‘Huh?’ and she just slammed the phone down in my ear.”

The manager told CBS 17 over the phone that the woman was fired because she was threatening to come to work sick.

CBS 17 found out the paperwork is legitimate. Her COVID-19 test came back positive.

“That’s something you don’t play with. I was very upset. I cried just about the whole week,” said the former employee.

North Carolina is an at-will employment state.

“You can be fired for almost any reason, even if it’s a bad reason or not really a rational reason, as long as it’s not as an illegal reason,” said attorney Steven Corriveau with Martin & Jones.

Attorneys with Martin & Jones, PLLC said this is a ‘he said/she said’ scenario where documentation is key.

“In an employment discrimination claim, it’s important to document in writing what happened and when so there’s a contemporaneous record, so if a claim has to be pursued down the road, you’ve got the facts to back it up,” said attorney Forest Horne with Martin & Jones.

People can also call the North Carolina Department of Labor to get advice if they feel they were wrongly fired. Oftentimes, they’ll pursue the matter. Click here for more information.

More headlines from CBS17.com:

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