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COVID-19: Can I refuse if the company forces me to go to work these days?

The general rule is that employees must go to their jobs, because if they do not do so, they may be subject to a disciplinary sanction or even a dismissal due to unjustified absence, or low pay, in accordance with the Workers' Statute (Estatuto de los Trabajadores).

However, as an exception and under the provisions of Article 21.2 and 4 of the Occupational Risk Prevention Law (Ley de Prevención de Riesgos Laborales), if the worker proves the existence of a “serious and imminent risk” to his health, she/he may interrupt her/his activity and leave the workplace after notifying the employer and, not being able to suffer any damage, unless they had acted in bad faith or committed severe negligence.

Therefore, in relation to the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19, the worker who was affected by the disease, or was at serious risk of contagion, could interrupt their activity and leave the workplace, duly communicating it to the company.

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