In their article “Coronavirus lawsuits on the horizon: Termination and discrimination,” labor and employment partner Greg Abrams and associates Taylor Haran, Samantha Rollins and Katrina Forsyth detail some of the prevailing trends in recent COVID-19-related employment litigation and proactive steps that employers can take to help avoid lawsuits.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads throughout the country, many employers responded to slowed demand and economic uncertainty by furloughing and laying off some or all of their workforces. Employers also turned to increased remote work.
Recently, as employers have started to return employees to their worksites, many have implemented various safety and hygiene requirements and are navigating rapidly evolving government guidance and requirements from a variety of sources, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local laws, ordinances, and executive orders.
In sum, employers have had, and must continue, to adapt swiftly and nimbly to this unprecedented situation.
The authors write that with these changing employment practices and evolving requirements come the threat of lawsuits in a host of areas.