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INSIGHT: Inoculating Against Covid-19 Related Wage and Hour Class Litigation

Bloomberg Law Daily Labor Report

Jonathan M. Brenner, Paul DeCamp, and James J. Oh, Members of the Firm in the Employment Law & Workforce Management practice, co-authored an article in the Bloomberg Law Daily Labor Report, titled “INSIGHT: Inoculating Against Covid-19 Related Wage and Hour Class Litigation.”

Following is an excerpt:

During the Covid-19 pandemic, companies should focus in the first instance on health and safety issues for workers, customers, and the public at large during a pandemic, but they cannot lose sight of the wage and hour risks that are lurking in these challenging times.

For a staggering number of U.S. businesses over the past several weeks, the early and middle part of 2020 will look something like this:

Reduced customer demand or government-ordered site closures lead to furloughs or layoffs of a significant part of the workforce. Where feasible, employees work from home. As local conditions permit, operations gradually start to return to normal, though without the organization’s full complement of workers. The enterprise has weathered the storm.

Then the wage and hour class, collective, or representative litigation begins. Why? What went wrong?

Risks fall into three main phases that track business deceleration, maintenance, and resumption.