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LaKisha Kinsey-Sallis, partner with Fisher Phillips in Tampa, FL. LaKisha Kinsey-Sallis, partner with Fisher Phillips in Tampa, Florida.

As Florida businesses are navigating the “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan” to reopen Florida, the wave of COVID-19-related litigation is highlighting the fact that these lawsuits may also dredge up long-simmering employment conflicts unrelated to the pandemic. An example comes from a recent case filed in Florida, where an air-conditioner technician sued his former employer alleging that it failed to provide him personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic. The lawsuit also claims that the technician was misclassified and not paid overtime. As a finishing touch, the lawsuit goes further and states that the technician was terminated in retaliation for his safety and overtime complaints. This case shows that, while you are focusing on resuming operations, you must also prepare to defend COVID-19-related litigation.

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