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Labor and Employment stock illustration.Businesses throughout New York are undergoing unprecedented disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a consequence, they may be forced to make difficult, cost-saving decisions such as whether to reduce compensation, furlough employees or discharge them altogether. At-will employees who are not subject to collective bargaining agreements generally have no protection against actions taken for legitimate business reasons. However, employers do not have the same unfettered discretion with respect to employees with employment agreements. Employers should carefully analyze the language of each agreement before taking any action to avoid exposing themselves to potential breach of contract claims.

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