Lex Machina is proud to release its Special Report on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Employment Litigation in Federal Court. This Special Report examines the impact of COVID-19 on Employment litigation in federal district court. Part of this examination included surveying how court activity has changed in 2020 versus previous years.

Key Trends and Highlights:

  • Employment filings are incredibly steady year-over-year. As a baseline, there were approximately 21,000 to 23,000 cases filed each year from 2010 to 2019. In comparison, there were 14,078 Employment cases filed in the first three quarters of 2020.
  • Employment case filings have taken a distinct dip in Q2 and Q3 of 2020 versus those same quarters in 2018 and 2019. Harassment, ADA, and discrimination cases experienced the biggest drop in case filings between 2019 and 2020.
  • Plaintiffs filed 309 cases because of the COVID-19 pandemic between January and September 2020.
  • Looking at the 309 cases caused by COVID-19, most had retaliation claims (228 cases), followed by FMLA claims (142 cases), and FLSA claims (129 cases).
  • The Southern District of New York and the Southern District of Florida had the highest number of pandemic-related Employment filings. While both locations were top plaintiffs in Employment filings overall, they also had high levels of COVID-19 infections.

Legal Analytics is used for planning, forecasting, and litigation strategy. The metrics in this report may help readers examine who to pursue as clients, how long a matter may take, or when to settle. This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data in order to gain a competitive edge in litigation.

Lex Machina hosted a webcast about the report on October 29th, 2020 with Tom Gies, partner at Crowell & Moring, and Jim Swartz, partner at Seyfarth Shaw. Rachel Bailey, the report’s editor, moderated. View a recording of the webcast.

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