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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Coronavirus Update 9-15-2020: Is your business ready for the coming “tidal wave” of COVID-19 employee lawsuits?


  • A Texas man sues, claiming he wasn't allowed to keep teleworking after the office reopened
  • A Kentucky worker sues after being fired for complaining about a lack of face masks at work
  • An older New York employee sues, claiming he was laid off because he was in a "vulnerable" COVID age group

These are but a few of the dozens (and exponentially growing) lawsuits that employees have filed all over the country over COVID-related concerns.

CNN Business quotes Joseph Seiner, an employment law professor at the University of South Carolina and former EEOC appellate attorney, "I think you are on the front end of a tidal wave." He adds, and I concur, that we lack a solid historical analogy for how this pandemic will impact employment law.

I've thought a lot about these issues, enough to synthesize them into a webinar, which I'm presenting tomorrow, September 16, from 1 - 2:15 pm, ET. I'll be covering the following:

  • Wage-and-hour risks from employees, including those working remotely
  • Failing to accommodate employees who are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19
  • The hidden risks of layoffs and failing to reinstate employees after leave
  • Lawsuits relating to age and underlying medical issues
  • Failing to provide the correct amount of leave under the new FFCRA
  • Knowing when you must accommodate employee medical concerns (or fears of infection) – and when you can legally terminate
  • The tricky handling of working parents – must you give them special consideration for leave and return-to-work (especially if school/daycare is closed)?
  • Prospects for COVID lawsuit immunity from Congress  or state legislatures
  • The viability of COVID liability waivers
  • How OSHA and the NLRA protect employees who raise safety concerns

Registration is available here. I hope to see you (virtually) there.