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Wrongful Termination & Covid-19

As we have just passed the two year anniversary of the Covid-19 quarantine, we are continuing to see Covid-19 employment litigation claims on the rise! Currently, there are approximately 1,242 cases filed in California and growing. The majority of lawsuits we are seeing assert claims for wrongful termination and retaliation/whistleblower, and wage & hour related to working from home. Given that a majority of lawsuits filed deal wrongful termination/retaliation it is important for an employer to understand what a wrongful termination or retaliation claim is, how to prevent it and proper documentation.

On a high level, wrongful termination refers to a situation where an employee is fired or laid off for an unlawful or illegal reason. This usually means a violation of federal or state law, including Covid-19 related laws, or of public policy.  In practice, employers should be aware of their risk in relation to terminating an employee as the facts and circumstances surrounding a termination/lay off may increase the risk of an employee brining a claim for wrongful termination.  These types of claims are very fact specific and each case could result in different advice from your legal counsel as no two cases are alike. It is important for employers to consult with legal counsel when making employment related decisions, especially in light of increased Covid-19 litigation in an effort to minimize your legal risk.

Additionally, if you have already received a complaint alleging wrongful termination due to Covid-19 or any other employment law related claim or even a demand letter, it is important that take the proper steps to address this, as these matters “don’t just go away” as we hear time and time again. Failing to take a complaint seriously, even if untrue, or failing to properly respond to a complaint can lead an employer increase their risk in a subsequent claim by an employee, during or after employment.

To ensure that you are mitigating your legal risk, to properly respond to complaints by your employees at your workplace, or to address a demand letter or filing of a lawsuit against your company, contact your local Employer Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt. The Employer Lawyers will assess your circumstances and help you navigate your legal matter.

The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact  Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500.


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