Maria Bernal, an employee at a Jack in the Box in Folsom, Calif., couldn’t read the orders popping up on her screen. Her vision was blurry, her hands shook from chills and her head felt heavy.

A pharmacist told her she probably had COVID-19. When she told her boss, the manager told Bernal to keep working.

“Don’t worry, everyone has it, you can still work. Just wear a mask and don’t tell anyone,” the manager said, according to a Jan. 14 complaint Bernal filed with Sacramento County’s public health department.

As the Omicron variant knocked out swaths of the labor force, people in a variety of jobs — fast-food workers, grocery clerks, teachers — say they have been under immense pressure to report to work while feeling sick or having tested positive with the virus.

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