Michael S. Kun, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Los Angeles office, authored an article in the Daily Journal, titled “8 COVID-19-Related Myths Employers Might Have Heard.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
As employers today navigate complex issues that they had never imagined, there are more than a few myths circulating about the impact of COVID-19 on wage and hour laws that are worth mentioning — and worth debunking.
Myth 1: In recognition of these difficult times, employees won’t sue over alleged wage and hour violations occurring during the COVID-19 crisis.
The thinking behind this myth is that employees will recognize that these indeed are unprecedented times. They will recognize that employers are going through difficult times, struggling to stay open and having to address unusual issues swiftly. They will be grateful to have jobs during this crisis because, well, look at how many people have lost their jobs already. And, as a result, employees will cut employers slack if employers don’t comply in full with wage and hour laws during the law.
Late paychecks? No problem, the employees will say.
Checks that are a few dollars short? Not a problem either!
Not paying employees for all of their time? Don’t worry about it! We’re all in this together, right?
While it’s nice to believe that the COVID-19 crisis will remind everyone of what is truly important in life and engender more understanding and good will, the idea that employees and their lawyers will refrain from filing wage and hour claims is baseless. And dangerous. Easing up on wage and hour compliance based on that mistaken belief would be foolish. ...