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#WorkforceWednesday: Coronavirus Tough Questions – Furloughs and Reductions, Unionized Workforces, Employee Benefits

Employment Law This Week® - Episode 156, March 25, 2020

It's #WorkforceWednesday. Over the last week, employers faced tough questions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. The week’s top workforce management and employment law news addresses these concerns:

Furloughs or Reductions (Video)

As numerous states issued “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders, employers across the country face difficult decisions about how to stay afloat and maintain their operations. Marc Mandelman discusses best practices for implementing furloughs or reductions in force.

 

 

Video: YouTubeVimeoMP4Instagram.

Coronavirus Considerations for Unionized Workforces

Employers have a legal duty to bargain with labor unions representing their employees regarding the employees’ wages, hours, and other conditions of employment. Employers should review their collective bargaining agreements and schedule meetings with union leadership as soon as possible. Read more for specific considerations.

Critical Benefits Guidance

Several employee benefits areas are impacted by actions employers may be taking to keep their workforces and business operations safe. Click here for a rundown of benefits guidance in the time of COVID-19.


Other Highlights

Effective April 2: New Paid Leave Obligations

Private employers with “fewer than 500 employees” and public employers must now provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and 12 weeks of family leave to eligible employees due to a qualifying need related to a public health emergency. Read more on the details of the new law.

NY Freezes Most Litigation Filings

New York state courts have limited litigation filings to emergency matters. Neither restrictive covenant nor trade secret matters count as “emergencies,” so consider filing temporary restraining orders or preliminary injunctions in other jurisdictions or bringing claims at the federal level.

What We’re Reading

“Businesses May Have Insurance That Could Lessen the Economic Impact of COVID-19,” a blog post by attorney Janene Marasciullo. Read the post here.

©2020 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.

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About this Author

Marc A. Mandelman, Epstein Becker Green, Workforce Management Lawyer, Restructuring Strategy Attorney
Member

MARC A. MANDELMAN is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor, and Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He represents a variety of clients—including major corporations in the financial, insurance, fashion, retail, publishing, technology, and health care field—in all aspects of labor and employment relations.

Mr. Mandelman:

  • Routinely advises clients on designing and implementing restructuring strategies and the management of litigation risks associated with...

212-351-5522
George Carroll Whipple III, Epstein Becker Green, Workforce Management Lawyer, Hiring Matters Attorney
Member

GEORGE CARROLL WHIPPLE, III, is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor, and Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He hosts the firm's innovative weekly video program, Employment Law This Week.

Mr. Whipple:

  • Counsels employers on workplace issues, including hiring and promotion, firing and discipline, wage and hour, and the implementation of employment policies, to ensure compliance with federal and state laws

  • Conducts internal investigations on human resource compliance and regulatory issues

  • Advises clients on non-competition and raiding issues

  • Negotiates with incoming and outgoing employees, and prepares contracts

  • Represents clients in trials, arbitrations, and mediations in the areas of compensation disputes and discrimination

  • Represents employers in wage and hour and independent contractor collective actions and reviews

  • Counsels clients on compensation plans and programs

  • Handles legal fee reduction reviews

212-351-3773