Bloomberg Law
May 11, 2020, 9:45 AM

What’s Legal in Covid-19 Pay Cuts Isn’t Necessarily What’s Fair

Paige Smith
Paige Smith

For businesses cutting workers’ pay to spread the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, what’s legally defensible may not be what’s fair.

That’s because any departure from across-the-board pay cut formulas, even to address a single worker’s dire family situation, could land employers in hot water with a potential discrimination lawsuit, attorneys said. If employers make any decision to make a narrower salary cut than an entire team or department, then those decisions should be properly justified, according to Alston & Bird partner Brett Coburn.

That holds true even if across-the-board cuts have the effect of widening existing pay gaps ...

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