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Using Coronavirus to Mask Illegal Employment Decisions

Many employers have had to make tough decisions regarding their workforce in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, which has shuttered many businesses. These decisions are often legitimate, and not illegal.

But some are not. Employers may not select which employees to layoff, terminate, or recall based on illegal considerations. Illegal considerations include an employee’s age, race, gender or pregnancy, real or perceived disability, the fact that the employee has taken a medical leave under the FMLA, or has complained about workplace discrimination or other illegal employment practices.

In short, employers may not legally rely on the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse or justification to rid its workforce of certain individuals or protected groups, including older, disabled, or whistleblowing employees. In employment law jargon, we call this a pretext for discrimination.

Our experienced employment law attorneys will thoroughly review the facts of your particular situation and advise whether you may have a valid legal claim. Contact us today.