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Alabama Law and Practice 

Published: October, 2020

Submission: October, 2020

 



The US Regional Employment 2020 features 14 states. The guide provides expert legal commentary on the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace, the "Black Lives Matter" and "Me Too" movements, unions, the National Labor Relations Board, the interviewing process, restrictive covenants, discrimination and harassment, and whistle-blower claims.


Bradley attorneys authored the Alabama and Tennessee chapters of the US Regional Employment 2020 featured below. To use the Chambers compare tool, please visit their website.


1. Current Socio-Economic, Political,and Legal Climate; Context Matters


1.1 The Impact of COVID-19 on the Workplace


The pandemic has awakened both employers and employees to the ideas of federally-mandated paid leave (under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)) and remote work. Employers need to be ready to manage employee expectations that they are now entitled to be paid if they are off work for something beyond their control and that they should be enabled to work from home. One upside for employers could be the realization that for some positions, they can seek talent from other geographic locations and employ some people remotely. If an employer is considering having remote workers (either employee or employer initiated), it needs to evaluate all policies to be sure they apply to a remote work setting and that there are sufficient cyber-security protections in place.


1.2 “Black Lives Matter,” “Me Too,” and Other Movements


These movements have made employees more likely to report concerns of unfair treatment or misconduct to management. Employers should have clear reporting procedures already in place and follow those procedures if and when complaints arise. These movements have also heightened employee interest in what their co-workers are being paid. Employers should keep an eye on pay equity within the organization and identify and address any potential problems before employees (or their law-yers) identify them.


The increased discussion of race and inequity following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement is bound to cause some dissension within a workforce. Having policies that require employees to be respectful, even when they disagree, may help. Additionally, employers should review their discrimi-nation and harassment policies to be sure they are in good shape to handle complaints from all sides of this discussion.


Republished with permission. The full article was first published by Chambers USA in October 2020 and can be found here.


 



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