Steep Drop in Employment Litigation as COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

October 30, 2020

As reported by Law360 (subscription required) the number of new employment lawsuits filed in federal court has dropped significantly in 2020 as employees continue to work from home. 

In the first three quarters of 2020, workers filed around 14,000 employment lawsuits, less than in 2018 and 2019 during the same period, where suits numbered above 16,000.  The downward trend has increased throughout the year, with the number of suits filed continuing to further decrease in the second and third quarters.

The decline in cases may be related to the shift towards remote work, as “when there’s less opportunity for person-to-person interaction…claims like harassment or discrimination are expected to fall,” said Brian Murphy, a partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. 

Takeaway:  While employers justifiably have cause for concern over potential increased liability related to COVID-19 issues, so far, the widespread shift to remote work appears to have caused a significant drop in new employment lawsuits in 2020.