COVID-19 has upended and complicated much of the workplace and it is not different when it comes to dealing with a union-represented workforce. Seasoned labor attorney Jim Hays of Sheppard Mullin will provide an overview of the many ways labor relations have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. In our new COVID-19 environment, there are numerous issues implicating the National Labor Relations Act, including employees engaging in protected concerted activities including work stoppages, the potential duty of bargain concerning COVID-19 programs, policies, layoffs and closures, union requests for information, and union initiated inspections. In addition, over the last 6 months, the National Labor Relations Board has been busier than it has ever been issuing decisions on a diverse number of subjects from election-related information requirements and in-person versus mail balloting to updating its position on when abusive workplace conduct crosses the line of protected concerted activities to ruling on other key issues like deferral to arbitration and use of employer email systems.
Examine the impact of COVID-19 on labor relations, including its effect on major components of the National Labor Relations Act such as protected concerted activity, duty of bargaining, and union requests for information
Review the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent decisions on the conduct of elections during the pandemic
Explore other recent NLRB decisions on key issues such as abusive workplace conduct, arbitration, and employer email systems
James Hays is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group in the firm's New York office and is a team leader of the firm's Traditional Labor Law Team.
Areas of Practice
James' practice focuses on management labor and employment law. He represents clients in collective bargaining negotiations, labor arbitrations, and all stages of the labor election process, including election campaigns and hearings before the National Labor Relations Board. He also represents clients in employment litigation in federal and state courts, as well as various arbitration forums, and in proceedings before various administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States Department of Labor, and state agencies throughout the United States.
James advises and has represented clients in litigation concerning breach of non-compete agreements and theft of trade secrets. He advises employers on strategies for handling workplace harassment, internal investigations, reductions in staff, discipline and termination actions, and wage and hour issues. James devotes significant time to the defense of complex wage and hour class action litigation. He regularly counsels clients on preparation and administration of personnel policies and employment strategies and compliance with WARN, FMLA, ADA, COBRA and other federal and state labor statutes.
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