The mandates of government authorities ordering employers` legal actions may terminate rights and obligations in collective agreements and form the basis for defending royalties for unfair labour practices under the LNRA, as part of decisions taken by employers to deal with the situation of covid 19. The Chamber has recognized exceptions or flexibility in the application of the bargaining obligation in “exceptional” circumstances, which are an unforeseen event and which have significant economic implications that affect the employer … Take immediate action. Nevertheless, even in such circumstances, an employer may be required to negotiate tangential decisions and the effects of state-ordered acts. In addition to considerations related to the Federal WARNING Act, to all applicable “mini-WARN” government laws, unemployment insurance and collective agreements, employers must also consider many other statutes and considerations during the COVID 19 pandemic, including: Connecticut: In addition to compliance with federal WARN law, there is an obligation to notify a company when a business is sold (CGS 51s) and a plant closure law that can apply. Under the Plant Closure Act, some employers who permanently close (or relocate) must pay group health insurance for 20 percent (120) days. (CGS No. 31-51o).  A collective agreement requiring an employer to pursue this coverage in the event of a finding replaces the status. The WARN Act applies to job losses over a 30-day period. However, IEDS also apply to job losses over a 90-day period.
An employer is required to lay off in advance if it makes a series of minor layoffs that would together meet the above-mentioned WARN thresholds beyond 90 days. In this case, no notification is required when an employer is able to prove that the various layoffs occurred as a result of separate and different actions and that they were not staggered to circumvent WARN. Employers who have collective agreements with unions have obligations under the National Labor Relations Act, and they may also have collective agreements that impose certain restrictions or provide flexibility to deal with the COVID-19 emergency because it affects their staff. Employers with collective agreements should, as a general rule, seek a language in the contract that allows for dismissals and recalls or other measures to deal with the emergency situation of COVID 19, since the agreement can define rights and procedures for such measures. The rights provisions of employer or other management could also give the employer some flexibility in managing health emergencies or safety issues. A recent majority of the National Labor Relations Board decided that the union`s waiver to negotiate on a subject can be found if the agreement covers the subject. A collective agreement may also have a provision that allows unilateral action by the employer for the acts of God or a provision on force majeure.
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