The Effects Of Covid-19 Through The Eyes Of The Lewis Law Group
Staff |24 July 2020
The spread of Covid-19 has not only left us sanitizing and social distancing like crazy but many of us, employees and employers alike, now have several questions regarding employment. According to an initial analysis conducted by McKinsey Global Institute in April 2020, it was estimated that in the shutdown phase alone, up to 53 million US jobs were vulnerable—a term used to encompass permanent layoffs, temporary furloughs, or reductions in hours and pay with the impact being examined at the state, national, and occupational level.
With all sectors being affected, unemployment claims have been filed left, right and center, and understandably so. Strained budgets are beginning to force state and local governments to cut public-sector jobs. According to an initial analysis conducted by McKinsey Global Institute, “While Americans of all backgrounds are feeling the economic pain, many of the newly unemployed in early March were part-time workers, young people, minorities, and women.” So what does all this mean and what part does the Lewis Law Group play?
With Florida slowly reopening, not everyone is fortunate to be going back to their old place of employment. The employment and Covid-19 situation has been an interesting and sticky one. Our firm has been a resource to both employers and employees in this time of uncertainty. Employers were asking “should I close my business temporarily and rehire when we reopen?”, “Should I keep a skeleton staff?”, “If I let my employees go, do I still have to pay them?” etc. On the other side of the coin, employees were very much concerned about their future: “ Am I entitled to unemployment?”, “Should I give up my job, branch off to something else where I might not be making as much money but hope that my job will be available when I come back?”.
As legal advisors, it is our job to analyze and interpret the recently implemented Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This act requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to Covid-19. A full breakdown of this act can be found here. In a nutshell, if you have to leave your job due to Covid-19, there may be an opportunity for you to be paid. The act also covers employers: “The FFCRA covers private employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public employers.”
Sadly, some employers have used this pandemic as an opportunity to get rid of some employees and rehire under the guise of COVID.
“We have had cases of clients who were put on notice and now that everything is starting to reopen, some businesses are rehiring and are hiring people who are younger or non-minority, or just not allowing them to have their jobs back.”- Christopher Lewis Esq.
The fact that Florida is an employment-at-will state, meaning that an employer can terminate an employee with or without cause, makes it more difficult to decipher the true reason behind not rehiring an employee. The Lewis Law Group encourages both employers and employees to continue reaching out to us to seek legal counseling. We understand the frustrations and uncertainty that comes along with the current time we’re in and we want to help. Our experienced labor law attorney is waiting to hear from you!