Major Law Firm Fisher Philips warned that COVID-19 workplace lawsuits are increasing exponentially. Of the 283 recent COVID-19 workplace lawsuits tracked, 122 of them, or 43%, were filed in June, they said in a July 2 press release covering COVID cases filed through June 30. June's increase represents an exponential rise in case filings.
Discrimination and WFH Claims Dominated
Discrimination and work-from-home or leave claims dominated, being 63 and 62 of the total cases, respectively. There were 41 retaliation cases, and the count for unsafe working conditions or lack of personal protective equipment was 26. The pandemic is generating class action lawsuits, 41 have been filed against employers since the beginning of the pandemic, and many focus on unsafe working conditions or wage and hour violations.
What To Do About It
The HR DIVE website recommends to train managers, educate employees on new leave law requirements, develop comprehensive safety plans and anticipate various wage and hour responsibilities as the pandemic unfolds. And that is just on the legal and HR side of things.
Bad guys are going to use these growing COVID-19 lawsuits as bait in spear phishing attacks, if they aren't already. We strongly recommend you inoculate your employees especially in Legal, HR and C-level execs. We have developed new templates to help you do this immediately. Here are a few examples:
Whatever COVID ruse is being used, your users will wind up with either infected workstations at the house or in the office, giving out personal information or unleashing ransomware on your network. Give them a heads-up that especially now they need to stay on their toes with security top of mind.
I would send your employees, friends and family something like the following. Feel free to copy/paste/edit.
"This week, a major US Law firm warned that COVID-19 related lawsuits have skyrocketed. You can expect phishing attacks that look like they are from law firms or even our own HR team, and claim you are part of a class action lawsuit and need to take some action like opening an attachment. If you open that attachment and click on 'Enable Content', it will download software that allows cybercriminals to take over your computer and steal confidential information. So, don't open any attachments related to COVID lawsuits. Remember to always Think Before You Click!
For KnowBe4 Customers, there are now 61 different Coronavirus-themed simulated phishing templates you can use to inoculate your users against this type of attack.
Let's stay safe out there, with tens of millions of people working from home.
Founder and CEO, KnowBe4, Inc.