Avoiding Pandemic-Related Employment Litigation and Disputes
Employers navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic cannot ignore the threat of labor and employment claims that may arise from the crisis. Indeed, a steady stream of pandemic-related lawsuits have already been filed, with employees seeking to hold their employers liable on an assortment of claims. Some of these claims are new, based on recently enacted statues and regulations. Others repackage existing anti-discrimination, wage-and-hour, and labor law theories to fit novel, COVID-related claims. In either scenario, the risks these suits present are real, and the potential liability is substantial.
Unfortunately, this initial wave of litigation is likely only the beginning. In the weeks and months ahead, the scale and variety of COVID-19-based claims will only increase as workplaces reopen and employers take difficult but necessary steps to address health and safety concerns.
Avoiding the risks posed by such litigation will require good judgment, informed decision-making, and a practical knowledge of the relevant legal issues. To that end, we have prepared a brief overview of the types of claims employers are likely to face in the coming months. We also offer strategies for employers to consider to mitigate their potential exposure.
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