Coronavirus in the Workplace: Responding to the Current Outbreak and Planning for the Next Pandemic

Compensation, FMLA, OSHA, Workers' Comp, USERRA, and Other Employer Considerations to Mitigate Risk

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Monday, April 6, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will discuss issues in employment law and crisis management in light of the current coronavirus outbreak and assist in planning for pandemics or other disasters that may impact the workplace. The panel will address how to approach compensation for exempt and non-exempt employees, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims, workplace safety, workplace protections for first responders under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and more.


The current global epidemic of the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus has led to fears and uncertainties, especially for employers. During and after a crisis, employment counsel must prepare now to guide clients in navigating myriad legal considerations, including potential areas of liability under federal and state employment laws, and advise them on effective tactics to ensure legal compliance and mitigate risk.

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread, so do fears and uncertainties. Employers must consider the health of employees and that of the business, and many new questions arise daily. How do you comply with current recommendations regarding travel restrictions, quarantines, and other guidance from government and health authorities to maintain a safe working environment while trying to conduct "business as usual"?

Compensation for exempt and non-exempt employees under FLSA and related state laws is a significant concern for employers during and after a crisis. Are exempt employees entitled to pay if the workplace shuts down as a result of a crisis? Must non-exempt employees be compensated for overtime pay if their workload increases due to a crisis situation?

Employers must also prepare for FMLA requests by immune-compromised employees or those who develop a contagious virus or whose spouse, parent, or child suffer from medical issues due to illness.

Workplace safety is always a high priority. What are OSHA's requirements for employers to protect workers from workplace hazards? Employment counsel must also guide their clients in understanding and meeting their obligations.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment law attorneys discusses legal considerations and best practices for employers during and after this and potential future crises.



  1. Compensation and FLSA
  2. FMLA leave
  3. OSHA requirements
  5. Other employer considerations:
    1. Routine cleaning
    2. Sick leave updates
    3. Travel policies and telecommuting


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Obligations to compensate exempt and non-exempt employees during and after a natural disaster or widespread crisis
  • Employee rights under the FMLA following a natural disaster or other crisis
  • Responsibilities under OSHA to ensure workplace safety after a natural disaster
  • Obligations to first responders under USERRA


Brenneman, Deborah
Deborah S. Brenneman

Thompson Hine

Ms. Brenneman is a partner in the firm's Labor & Employment and Business Litigation practice groups. She...  |  Read More

Penrod, Stephen
Stephen R. Penrod

Thompson Hine

Mr. Penrod's knowledge of both qualified plan and executive compensation matters combined with his in-house...  |  Read More

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