Before Implementing a Layoff, Consider an Unemployment Workshare Program

As employers begin to plan for their employees’ return to work, many are unable to maintain the size of their workforces in light of the ongoing economic downturn. As they plan for layoffs or long-term furloughs, employers should also be aware of the possibility of an unemployment workshare program. The main difference between a layoff …read more »

As States Begin to Reopen, Employers Must Continue to Minimize Safety Risks

Texas, like many states, is allowing more businesses to reopen and at greater capacities as it moves into Phase II of its COVID-19 pandemic response plan. See Executive Order GA-23, available at This is good news for business and the economy, but also presents several unique challenges as employers must continue to ensure the …read more »

Understand the WARN Act’s Oft-Misunderstood “Unforeseeable Business Circumstance” Defense and its Potential Applicability to Your Layoffs

As the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to impact employees and employers alike, employers must make difficult decisions to protect their businesses. The United States is facing what some predict to be the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Many employers are finding it necessary to reduce their workforce to stay afloat. The federal Worker …read more »

Confirm that Your FFCRA Leave Request Forms Align with DOL Regulations AND the IRS Guidance on Claiming Tax Credits for Leave

Since the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), there has been confusion regarding what “documentation” that employers can and should request from employees who qualify for FFCRA leave. Some of the confusion was addressed in the DOL’s regulations clarifying the documentation requirements. Under the regulations, for both emergency paid sick leave and …read more »

Zoom May Be Here to Stay, but Are You Ready to Produce the Recordings in Discovery?

Videoconferencing—through productivity tools like Zoom, Webex, and Microsoft Teams—has become part of the new normal. Matters that as recently as six weeks ago would have been handled by conference call are now routinely, in some cases almost exclusively, addressed in videoconferences. And while not every employee has embraced Zoom and its analogs, consensus among employers …read more »

Core Wage and Hour Issues Relating to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the nation, it brings not only consternation related to individual health but also a plethora of issues for employers. Although this is a highly dynamic situation changing daily as various governmental agencies issue and revise guidance and Congress passes additional legislation, this article endeavors to highlight several wage and …read more »

DOL Clarifies That the FFCRA Does Not Restrict Employers from Laying Off, Furloughing Employees

Since the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, employers have posed one question more than all others: Does the FFCRA somehow protect employees from layoff (or furlough), at least until after paid leave required by the Act has been provided? In recent informal guidance, the U.S. Department …read more »

Unemployment Compensation Benefits and the COVID-19 Pandemic

There are a lot of questions about unemployment compensation benefits in this new normal as businesses continue to contemplate closings, furloughs, and layoffs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally speaking, workers who are totally or partially unemployed related to COVID-19 have two potential sources for accessing unemployment benefits. The first is their individual State unemployment …read more »

Is There Litigation Risk Lurking in Your Layoff? OWBPA Reminders for Softening Markets

While recent official government statistics reflect a strong and growing economy, the view from my office over the past couple of months has suggested that current business conditions, at least in certain market segments, are anything but rosy. Over this period, I’ve fielded a steadily growing number of inquiries about layoffs—almost a half dozen of …read more »