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Working Moms Will Find Covid-19 Layoffs Hard to Fight in Court

July 29, 2020, 5:54 PM

Here are the day’s top coronavirus stories from the team at Bloomberg Law:

  • WORKING MOMS: Many working mothers—now balancing home school, snack breaks, and play time—carry a heavier child care burden than fathers during the pandemic, leaving them increasingly vulnerable to layoffs and terminations that would be difficult to challenge in court.
  • BANKRUPTCY PRACTICES: Large U.S. law firms are scrambling to address a ballooning need for bankruptcy and corporate restructuring expertise. The pandemic has unleashed an unprecedented severity and speed of corporate distress, as Chapter 11 filings pile up and fire-sale assets garner interest. Law firms are scouring the field to hire experienced restructuring attorneys, counter to what has otherwise been a declining attorney job market.
  • UNEMPLOYMENT DELUGE: The surge in unemployment claims brought on by the pandemic produced a welcome side effect for some major accounting firms—big paydays for their tech consulting and government service businesses. State unemployment agencies in California, New York, and elsewhere spent millions this year hiring contractors to help upgrade or expand their claims-processing systems, staff-up call centers, and assist with fraud prevention and investigation.

Editor’s Top Picks

Covid Means Easier Ballot Access for New Hampshire Libertarians
The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has convinced a federal judge to reduce by 35% the number of nomination papers its candidates must submit in order for their names to appear on the state’s general election ballot this November.

CUNY Fights Union Lawsuit Over Layoffs Brought on by Pandemic
The City University of New York shouldn’t be forced to rehire thousands of adjunct faculty and staff laid off due to the pandemic, despite the fact that the school received about $251 million in federal relief money under the CARES Act, the state attorney general’s office argued to a federal court.

One Borrower, Two Loans: Firms Cite Errors in U.S. Bailout Data
Federal coronavirus-relief data show that dozens of small-business borrowers were approved for multiple loans from a program that was supposed to limit them to one apiece.

Covid-Induced Bankruptcies Risk Hurting U.K.’s Finance Industry
The U.K.’s financial industry faces significant risks from the wave of bankruptcies that could occur as a result of the Covid crisis, a Bank of England economist warned.

New York Evictions Pause Nears End With Congress Divided on Aid
New York’s expiring moratorium on evictions is fueling concerns that the state’s efforts to help struggling renters could fall short without more federal government help. Lawmakers in New York want to lengthen an eviction freeze set to expire Aug. 20 by as much as year. But the program has been limited, providing only $100 million statewide paid directly to landlords.

Obamacare Surge During Crisis Will Boost State Health Exchanges
Obamacare sign-ups spiked after millions of people lost their jobs and work-related coverage due to Covid-19. An increase in enrollees will likely reduce per-person costs for insurers, particularly as more healthy people look to get covered. That in turn could draw more insurers to the exchanges, leading to increased competition and reduced premiums, state health officials and analysts said.

Democratic Senators Urge Pandemic Crackdown on Noncompete Pacts
Two Democratic senators want the Federal Trade Commission to take emergency action to limit employers’ enforcement of noncompete agreements during and after the pandemic, saying the public health emergency has “exacerbated” problems with such arrangements.

California to Track Covid-19 Data Based on Sexual Orientation
California health-care providers will have to record the sexual orientation and gender identity of Covid-19 patients under regulations announced Tuesday. The regulations are part of the state’s effort to study the infection rate of communicable diseases in LGBTQ communities, which will allow it to identify and address disparities through public health programs.

INSIGHT: Assessing the True Value of the Evolving Remote Lawyer
Law firm work-at-home flexibilities have shown that we don’t need to chain lawyers to their desks and make them sweat under soul-draining fluorescent office lights to gain value. Olga V. Mack, CEO of Parley Pro, says law firms should continue to give attorneys upgraded technology to reduce time spent on droll, time-consuming tasks like document review and contract management activities that burn through hours without delivering much value.

Click here for updates on how federal courts are operating during the pandemic.

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Editor’s Note: The Bloomberg Law news team has been closely covering the legal, regulatory, business, and tax implications of the coronavirus pandemic. This daily email highlights the top stories of the day, across practice areas. To unsubscribe, please adjust your Bloomberg Law newsletter settings. For assistance, contact our help desk at 888-560-2529 or help@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Ward in Washington at mward@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Meghashyam Mali at mmali@bloombergindustry.com