Here’s what could happen if you fake COVID-19 to get out of work

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you’re thinking of calling in sick to work and using COVID-19 as an excuse, the FBI says you should think again.

You could be criminally prosecuted if caught.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, workers are calling in sick in record numbers amid the ongoing pandemic.

RELATED: Shelby County health officials give update on COVID-19 case numbers, vaccine availability

Nearly 1.8 million workers called out in November due to illness, nearly as high as the 2 million that called out in April.

Quentin Brogdon, a trial attorney, said the pandemic has really tested America’s legal system.

“There are definitely gray areas where we are all trying to find out way through the darkness here, and sometimes we’re having to just use common sense and judgment,” Brogdon said. “I think for everyone, whether you’re an employer or employee, common sense is the place we should start.”

RELATED: FAQ: Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine in the Mid-South

Brogdon said faking a COVID-19 illness could lead to job termination or other disciplinary action.

“It’s not a good idea to make stuff up,” Brogdon said.

Brogdon said employers do have a duty to provide a safe working environment, which includes providing PPE.