Bloomberg Law
March 30, 2020, 6:44 PM

Unilateral Layoffs From Virus May Be OK, Top NLRB Lawyer Says

Robert Iafolla
Robert Iafolla

Employers rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic may be able to sidestep their normal duty to bargain with unions over layoffs and other workplace changes, the National Labor Relations Board’s top lawyer said.

The NLRB has permitted a limited exception for unforeseen, extraordinary events that have major economic effects requiring employers to take immediate action, General Counsel Peter Robb wrote in a March 27 memorandum.

Robb’s legal advice comes during an unparalleled surge in jobless claims as companies have shed workers in response to business slowdowns and closures related to the novel coronavirus outbreak. New weekly unemployment claims spiked to ...

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