A friend has been working from home since March, with very occasional forays into the office when there is some critical in-person need. This friend's employer has now mandated that all employees must come into the office every week, unless they are in a high health risk category. Up to 50% work from home is allowed at the discretion of the direct supervisor. This policy change has come in the midst of a "2nd wave" of COVID in the state, and is not related to any change in the work needs.
This is a "critical business". Most of the employees have been at the office throughout. The manufacturing team has to be there regardless, but most others stayed in the office too.
Basically, the owner of this small business does not believe in work from home, and dismisses the risk of COVID, and has been pressuring my friend to work at the office for months. Most of that time the office has not been adhering to masking or social distancing, although the new policy says they will now follow both. The purpose of the new policy appears to be to force all employees in, or fire them for cause. The policy claims it is consistent with all CDC guidelines -- although it is not, as the CDC advises work from home when possible.
My friend is not in a high risk category, but has relatives who are. Also, this disease is a hazard to people of all ages, younger workers are not immune. Can you folks provide advice on what my friend can do?