Enterprise Says Covid Is Natural Disaster, Immediate Layoffs OK

July 15, 2021, 4:01 PM

The decisions by Enterprise Holdings Inc. subsidiaries to lay off employees following the Covid-19 outbreak with less than the 60-day notice generally required by federal law was lawful because the pandemic is a “natural disaster,” the company told the Eleventh Circuit.

The pandemic clearly spurred employers across the U.S. to immediately cut staff to try to save their businesses, the company said.

A lower court improperly read into the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act a requirement that the 1988 law’s natural-disaster defense is only triggered when layoffs are “directly” caused by a natural disaster, like a tornado, the company ...

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