Many employers are addressing whether to reduce the amount of work and headcount of their workforce. When the COVID-19 pandemic is over, employers who acted without carefully evaluating their options and decisions in how they reduced hours and positions, as well as how the decisions were communicated to employees, could face years of legal challenges on top of economic issues. Our panel discusses ways to reduce your legal exposure in these unprecedented times. Topics include:What is a furlough, and what are ways to implement one or more? What are alternatives to reductions in force? What are the types of separations that trigger federal and state WARN, and what are the potential penalties? What should be in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice? COVID-19 and the “unforeseeable business circumstance” provision of WARN. Can an employer do something post-furlough besides a RIF if revenue hasn’t resumed? Severance and release agreement best practices
The COVID-19 outbreak rendered many workplaces dormant, but frontline workers in the grocery, delivery, and medical fields have felt the effects of the massive influx in demand for their services caused by the pandemic. There have been employee protests, threats to strike or sick-out, demands for hazard pay and enhanced workplace safety measures. This program addresses both unionized and non-unionized workforces and shifts in bargaining power and the rise in union organizing. What does all this mean with a National Labor Relations Board under the Trump administration that prior to COVID-19 was issuing more employer-friendly decisions?