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#WorkforceWednesday: Coronavirus Tough Questions – Furloughs and Reductions, Unionized Workforces, Employee Benefits
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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.

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