Nota Bene Episode 77: Labor, Employment, and Immigration in a Pandemic World with Kelly Hensley, Denise Giraudo, and Greg Berk


Furloughs. Layoffs. Loss of work visas. The state of employment in the U.S. is in flux due to the coronavirus, and employers and employees are left to figure out how to best deal with the changing regulations in this space.

Joining Michael Cohen for this conversation are three guests: Kelly Hensley, Denise Giraudo, and Greg Berk.

Kelly Hensley is a partner in the Sheppard Mullin Los Angeles office and is Leader of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group. She specializes in labor and employment counseling and wage and hour matters.

Denise Giraudo is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in Sheppard Mullin’s Washington, D.C. office. Denise counsels and represents management in a wide range of labor and employment litigation matters. She regularly and successfully represents employers before state and federal courts as well as various local and federal administrative agencies.

Greg Berk is a partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. He leads the Firm’s immigration practice and is based in Orange County, California. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

What We Discussed in This Episode:

  • What labor and employment issues are employers dealing with because of COVID-19?
  • What should employers know about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
  • What is a furlough and what must employers do if they plan on engaging in furloughs?
  • Are employees able to obtain any type of Federal relief during a period of furlough or unemployment?
  • What is the CARES Act?
  • How do furloughs and layoffs impact employee benefits such as health insurance?
  • Will unemployment rates continue to rise, or have they plateaued at this point?
  • Why is it important for employers to stay in contact with their labor counsel?
  • In terms of work visas, how is the pandemic affecting the immigration status of certain types of employees?
  • How are students with F-1 visas affected?


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