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As employers continue to grapple with the fallout from the pandemic, the immediate threat of COVID-19 litigation looms large. To help stay one step ahead, the Jackson Lewis COVID-19 Employment LitWatch tracks complaints filed in federal and state courts nationwide that allege labor and employment law violations related to COVID-19.

The Jackson Lewis COVID-19 Employment LitWatch tracks civil complaints filed in federal and state courts across the country that both are related to the COVID-19 epidemic and raise labor and/or employment law issues. Cases that merely referenced COVID-19 are not included. The COVID-19 Employment LitWatch is meant to provide trends and should not be considered an exhaustive dataset.

Jackson Lewis has a dedicated team tracking and responding to the developing issues facing employers as a result of COVID-19, which includes members from:

Class Actions and Complex Litigation
— Corporate Diversity Counseling
Disability, Leave and Health Management
— Employee Benefits
— General Employment Litigation
— Labor and Preventative Practices
— Wage and Hour
— Workplace Safety and Health

The LitWatch data is based on a feed of thousands of civil complaints filed per day that is provided by Courthouse News Service (CNS).

A review of COVID-19-related labor and employment complaints filed between January – August 2020, determined that an overwhelming majority (approximately two-thirds) of complaints involve an allegation of wrongful termination. Typically, each of these complaints contains an underlying claim that led to the employee’s termination, such as, for example, an employee requesting an accommodation.

The database reflects a total of 1,107 civil complaints nationwide as of today. Not unexpectedly, 214 of these cases have been filed in California, of which 199 are in state and 15 are in federal courts.

The healthcare industry has generated 263 total complaints, followed by manufacturing with 89, and retail and consumer goods 76.