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The Ongoing Impact of COVID-19 on Labor and Employment Law (and How AI Can Help)

Tensions between employers and employees remain high post-pandemic

As cold and flu season approaches with new COVID-19 variants budding throughout North America, labor and employment legal issues are once again claiming center stage of our present legal landscape. Initially, businesses concerned with weathering the pandemic’s impacts on their operations and mitigating the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace turned to furloughs and layoffs as a principal strategy for survival. In April 2020, the number of unemployed people on temporary layoff in the U.S. soared from approximately 2 million to 18 million; more than 16.8 million people filed for unemployment benefits over three weeks. 

With employees alleging wrongful dismissal, objecting to workplace vaccination policies, and navigating occupational health and safety matters, the pandemic led many workers to labor and employment lawyers for representation and guidance. Along with return-to-office mandates that endeavor to reinstate the in-person workplace of yore, such matters are returning to the forefront of labor and employment law today ahead of another long and looming winter season.


Increased Demand Means More Work For Lawyers Who Can Handle It


For labor and employment lawyers, it seems like there has never been a time of greater demand for their services. With new laws formed in response to the coronavirus, such as the CARES Act in the United States and the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act in Canada, lawyers like Michael Roche, chair of Winston & Strawn’s labor and employment group, explain that they have “never received legal developments this quickly in such a short period of time… [I]t is an unprecedented environment in which new laws, orders, and agency guidelines are being issued.” 

While some firms that invested in labor and employment before the pandemic are enjoying a significant payoff now, others lack the bandwidth to meet the rising demand for such services in an ever-shifting work landscape.


Expand Your Capabilities With The Best AI Legal Software Solutions


Fortunately, advanced legal technology powered by artificial intelligence has emerged in recent years as a powerful tool for legal research, argument formation, document automation, and more. With AI legal research tools like Memos by Alexi and the recently launched Arguments product, labor and employment lawyers tasked with unprecedented workloads can save time, costs, and energy using an interactive legal AI platform developed specifically for lawyers and litigators.

The combination of Memos and Arguments empowers legal professionals to build their cases swiftly and with confidence. The two products are meant to work seamlessly together, with Arguments allowing employment lawyers to quickly explore the different lines of argumentation available to them, along with a quick review of the supporting authorities, and Memos allowing lawyers to take a deep dive into specific legal questions to build the strongest possible case.


Whether you are seeking guidance on rising return-to-office mandates or looking to understand the courts’ interpretations of new legislation, the best AI legal software solutions are making the law more knowable by providing tools that make the work of employment lawyers and litigators faster and more accurate.

Review an Alexi Sample Memo exploring the reasonable accommodation of a worker with a disability who wants to work from home:

Does an employer's duty to accommodate employee disabilities extend to requiring an employer to transition to a paperless office in order to allow an employee with a severe anxiety disorder to work from home?


Start an Alexi trial and get two free research memos, or request a guided demo.


Business Development

Daniel Diamond is in Business Development at Alexi.

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