Florida Firefighter Disciplined for Quarantine Violation

A Seminole County, Florida firefighter has been suspended for three days for violating a quarantine order. Joseph Piambino was supposed to quarantine following a positive COVID-19 test on June 20, 2020.

Piambino was placed on paid leave and according to department policy was required to quarantine. He initially complied, but subsequently went out on a boat with friends and attended a gathering at a friend’s house. Videos from both activities were posted on Piambino’s Instagram account.

Colleagues reported the videos to Seminole County Fire Department leadership, who initiated an investigation. Piambino reportedly cooperated with investigators and admitted to violating the policy out of boredom. The investigation concluded he violated the department’s Pandemic Policy, which states that “any employee that … knowingly fails to adhere to the self-isolation/quarantine requirements may be terminated.”

Here is a link to news video coverage that I could not embed.

This is the first documented case of a firefighter being disciplined for violating a quarantine order that I have seen. If anyone has links to similar firefighter stories, please email me so I can add them to the database.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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