Practice Tips: Employers May be Vulnerable to COVID-19 Lawsuits

When the pandemic struck, laws were passed quickly, and the rules that followed were confusing. Also, state health orders and new state laws overlaid more requirements and complexity. Unsurprisingly, employers made mistakes, resulting in violations. Recently the Department of Labor settled claims with several employers violating the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and state agencies have also been investigating charges.

Here are steps you can take to reduce your chances of being subject to a lawsuit or demand from an attorney representing your employee:

  • Review your policies against information and sample policies by Employers Council. Review our helpful resources.
  • Make any necessary changes immediately and republish policies to employees.
  • If any employees come forward, indicating that they were not treated or appropriately paid, thoroughly investigate. Employers Council can do this for you if needed.
  • Correct any errors in your practices or payment of employees as soon as possible.
  • Retrain supervisors and provide extra attention to supervisors who had one or more employees affected.

Generally, not knowing the law is not a good defense if there is a complaint against an employer. It’s important that you continually assess your practices and adjust to ensure compliance.