MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is simply no question that we are in uncharted territory while dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

But as all of us worry about staying healthy, there’s another big concern: Your legal rights if you are quarantined.

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For many Americans, it’s not a matter of if you get sick from the coronavirus, but when, and how severe.

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Minneapolis attorney Joe Tamburino says that law protects you against discipline or discharge if you’re required to quarantine up to 21 days.

“Minnesota has a very good law which protects employees,” Tamburino said. “It even goes so far to say that if that person needs to care for a loved one in isolation or in quarantine, again, that employer can’t seek retaliation against them.”

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Nursing homes, prisons and schools are now clamping down to restrict outside visitors. While broadly allowed under emergency orders, Tamborino says it should open alternatives, like camera visitation.

“Because you could put your loved one in danger and the people there as well as staff.” Tamburino said.

The law has teeth, giving terminated workers the right to sue employers for lost wages and legal fees.

As this process unfolds, and should you run into resistance from an employer or institution where you’re trying to visit a loved one, contact a trusted legal advisor.

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