The COVID-19 Pandemic has forced employers to face public health, customer service, workforce, travel, and business disruptions in constantly evolving circumstances. Many of the decisions that employers must make on-the-fly create unintended consequences with serious labor and employment law liability issues. The Business Law Blog will address these issues in a series of three blog posts to expose the subtle legal issues obscured by gut-wrenching decisions made to protect healthy workers from exposure to co-workers who may have the virus, to serve customers without putting them at risk to COVID-19 infection, and to cut losses as economic activity grinds to a near halt because of governmentally mandated social distancing and quarantining policies by cutting the jobs of some workers to save the jobs of other employees. This post addresses employment discrimination and leave law-related issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. A second post will examine workplace safety issues unique to workforces exposed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The third post will explore issues regarding mass lay-offs and plant closings under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act, the duty to bargain over such decisions and the protected, concerted activities of workers expressing their concerns about COVID-19 related issues under the Labor Management Relations Act.
Read full alert here.