There have been a few questions lately from people that are being forced to go into the office, where they feel it is unsafe, or they have a moral obligation to stay at home.
In almost every instance, there is one, or a few answers or comments, that simply say "You should stay at home".
What these answers discount is the very real chance that such advice can lead to somebody losing their job. As many countries are teetering on the edge of recession, this potentially would have a significant impact on someone in the long term.
I do want to identify that there is, of course risk to a person's health. And that maybe users cannot in good conscious recommend a course of action that they feel is unsafe. However, even when things are going well, taking a step outside the door carries an inherent risk. How we evaluate this risk will depend on our own personal circumstance. What you consider a no-brainer may be a tough decision in a different economic and personal situation.
I do want to also identify that there is a certain moral obligation to stay at home. However, there are quite a few questions where an employee is asked to do something immoral. In those circumstances, saying: "Don't do it", is really a non-answer. The question is usually asking how they can avoid doing the immoral behaviour without jeopardising their job.
Someone being concerned about their health and concerned about keeping their job do not have to be conflicting. It is possible for people to have two concerns at the same time.
I believe we should make an assumption that those that ask such questions are looking for answers that would allow them to keep their job.
There are places in there world were travelling to work is now illegal. It would make sense to provide answers that take this into consideration, but it's worth noting where the OP is located.
There are even more places where there are government recommendations not to travel to work. It's worth noting that government recommendations generally do not trump obligations under law.
An example of this is in the UK, where currently (27th March) the government is recommending that people work from home where possible. Advice from employment law experts state (www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus):
Some people might feel they do not want to go to work if they're afraid of catching coronavirus. This could particularly be the case for those who are at higher risk.
If an employee still does not want to go in, they may be able to arrange with their employer to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave. The employer does not have to agree to this.
If an employee refuses to attend work without a valid reason, it could result in disciplinary action.
Last reviewed 25 March 2020
(Valid reasons are supplied by the same website).
There is almost certainly the option to go to court to fight for unfair dismissal. It's really a question for legal experts to predict what the potential outcome would be, but I do want to point out that not many people would like to go through that process.