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Guidance for Employers and Businesses

Avery Dooley and Noone, LLP specializes in employment law, including advising small and medium sized businesses on all aspects of the complex field of labor and employment law. Our broad experience in employment matters allows us to assist employers by reducing legal risks, and working to foster positive and productive relationships with their employees. With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the employment and labor landscape changes and evolves almost daily. We are working daily to provide our employer clients with the advice needed to be confident they are complying with the law, considering all legal options, and making sound decisions for their businesses, employees, and community. Our experienced practitioners can guide you through the potential traps associated with the changes to existing laws so that your business successfully manages its workforce and labor relations through these uncertain times. Some of the areas where we can assist include the following:

  1. Communications to Current Employees
    • Advise on and prepare proper communications and notifications to employees about the current health crisis and the risks associated with the crisis
  2. Coordination of Remote Employees
    • Establish or update remote work and work-travel policies for remote working employees, including confidentiality terms
  3. Leave Decisions and Employee Benefits
    • Evaluate and advise on responses to all employee leave requests
    • Develop and communicate updated leave policies
    • Prepare policies directly related to COVID-19, such as for employees who appear “sick” and when to request medical certifications
    • Advise on adhering to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and other COVID-19 orders
    • Employees with financial difficulties’ access to 401(k) plans
    • Advise on short and/or long-term disability insurance for employees
  4. Staffing Decisions
    • Assess options of staffing changes to reduce expenses, including reduction of hours and/or pay, furloughs, and layoffs
    • Advise on whether to convert employees to independent contractors and prepare independent contractor agreements
    • Prepare separation notices to employees, severance agreements, and overall package for final day of work
    • Advise on WARN Act (depending on employer size) or corresponding state notice obligations
    • Prepare formal advisements to separating employees on post-employment obligations, such as confidentiality and trade secrets,  non-compete, and non-solicitation provisions
    • Protect against post-employment discrimination and/or retaliation claims
  5. Enforcement of Post-Employment Obligations
    • Prepare cease and desist communications to former employees suspected of breaching post-employment agreements
    • Enforcement efforts against former employees with improper proprietary information
  6. Insurance
    • Review and assess insurance coverage with corporate leadership
    • Identify and pursue coverage for business interruptions, supply chain issues, constructions delays, etc.
  7. Contracts/Facilities/Leases
    • Evaluate current contracts, obligations, and interruptions
    • Identify and pursue rights and remedies under existing contracts and agreements
    • Review and assess funding and leasehold obligations for corporate-owner premises or facilities
    • Communicate and negotiate with lessors
  8. Liability
    • Assess and advise on employer liability for continued operations during national health crisis
    • Navigate recommendations and order of various governmental entities
  9. Accounts
    • Prepare collection notices under Fair Debt Collection Act so as to ensure continued payment from customers
    • Advise on stays, redemption rights, or other measures a debtor may have available under emergency governmental interventions