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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response - Labor & Employment Legal Issues

Employers have been at the forefront of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, forced to simultaneously make decisions that protect their workforce while also ensuring their businesses are well-positioned to meet their customers’ needs.

Our dedicated Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) team advises clients on keeping essential employees safe from COVID-19 through social distancing and other protocols. We also offer employment advice to clients as they navigate an unprecedented economic environment and seek relief through the CARES Act and other government programs.

Latest Updates

Stay informed with Nixon Peabody Labor & Employment law alerts, updates, and guidance. Recent coronavirus-related topics include:

  • CARES Act and FFCRA
  • Coronavirus travel restrictions
  • Changes to employee-benefits and leave policies
  • Furloughs vs. layoffs
  • Managing an essential workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • OSHA policy updates
  • Reopening businesses after COVID-19
  • Telecommuting and remote workforce management
  • What to do if an employee is infected with coronavirus

Coronavirus Response Team

We have created a multi-office and cross-practice Coronavirus Response Team to help our clients navigate through this fluid situation. Our team is actively providing guidance on a wide range of COVID-19–related issues, including workplace/facility safety, employment, benefits, contract disputes, health care, and education matters.

Learn more about the Nixon Peabody Coronavirus Response Team.

On High Alert: Running a Retail Business in the Age of the COVID Pandemic

Marijuana Venture | August 10, 2020

San Francisco partner Alison Torbitt, who co-leads NP’s Food, Beverage & Agribusiness team, and San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hilary Baca co-wrote this contributed article on how cannabis retailers can revamp their stores and policies to stay in compliance with state and local laws, while helping to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses to customers and employees.

Liability immunity proposals raise concerns for lawyers

Daily Record | July 31, 2020

In this article on the proposed legislation to provide businesses with immunity from COVID-19 liability lawsuits, Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding is quoted for her outlook on the legislation and the importance of businesses to continually abide by state and federal laws.

Employer Object To Cal/OSHA Virus Reporting Split From Federal OSHA

Inside OSHA | July 28, 2020

This article, discussing employer objections to the differences between Cal/OSHA and the federal OSHA requirements to record and report COVID-19 cases, quotes an NP alert providing guidance for California employers on the differences. The alert was authored by Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) practice co-chair and Los Angeles Labor & Employment partner Ben Kim and San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Maritza Martin.

Are employers obligated to accommodate requests to work from home?

WHEC-TV News 10NBC | July 22, 2020

Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding was featured in this broadcast segment on what obligations employers have to work with their employees as schools start again in September.

Marijuana Social Clubs: How Colorado is Setting the Pace

Cannabis Business Executive | June 17, 2020

This article, on the reopening of Colorado’s marijuana hospitality industry, cites a recent NP alert that details guidelines for cannabis retailers to consider for revamping operations without spreading communicable illnesses. Cannabis Business Executive also re-published the complete NP alert, written by San Francisco Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Alison Torbitt; Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan; and San Francisco Labor & Employment associates Hillary Baca and Rachel Conn.

How employers can prepare for expected waves of coronavirus-related litigation

Daily Journal | June 03, 2020

Labor and Employment partner Bonnie Glatzer and associates Hillary Baca and Jade Butman, all in San Francisco, contributed this article on potential coronavirus-related litigation matters that California employers should be aware of, and how employers can prepare for possible lawsuits.

Special Considerations for Restaurants and Franchised Businesses Under the CARES Act

Modern Restaurant Management | April 29, 2020

Franchising & Distribution co-leader Keri McWilliams in Washington, DC, and Corporate associate Wes Gangi in Chicago contributed this article. Based on a recent client alert, the article covers relief programs available to the restaurants industry, food retailers, and franchisees under the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Employers face a ‘minefield’ of legal issues as they prepare to reopen

The Boston Globe | April 29, 2020

This article, which looks at the potential flood of litigation as the economy reopens, quotes Boston co-office managing partner and Complex Commercial Disputes partner Kathleen Ceglarski Burns on the possibility of shareholder lawsuits at publicly-traded companies, even if companies have listed the coronavirus as a risk factor in their annual reports.

Employers with skeleton crews are on the hook for their safety

Bloomberg Law | March 26, 2020

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn discusses some of the methods employers are using to keep essential employees safe during the coronavirus outbreak—from staggered shifts to reconfigured work spaces.

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