Coronavirus media resources.

Comments from legal experts on coronavirus and:

Employment

Ronald Zambrano, litigation chair at West Coast Employment Lawyers, can comment about proposed legislation for employees, the laws surrounding layoffs, and other developments that impact workers. He is particularly knowledgeable about issues that will affect the gig economy — Uber, Lyft and delivery drivers.

“It’s likely legal, under the very limited circumstance we’re living in, for employers to take their employees’ temperatures. Under California law, an employer can ask an employee to undertake a physical after a medical leave in order to make sure they are able to work and that they won’t hurt themselves or others. I think courts would be willing to apply this principle to the checking of temperatures for the limited purpose of determining whether an employee is a risk to co-workers and the public at large.”

Zambrano can be reached at (213) 927-3700, (818) 419-1642 (mobile) or by email at ron@westcoasttriallawyers.com.

 

Sonya Goodwin, Partner at Sauer & Wagner LLP of Los Angeles, represents both employees and employers in a wide range of claims, including wage and hour violations, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. Her blogs on coronavirus in the workplace have appeared at GlassDoor.com. She can be reached at sgoodwin@swattys.com or (310) 712-8110.

“Ohio’s governor just asked that state’s employers to take the temperatures of their employees each day on their way into work. Generally, employers can’t do this because it’s considered a medical examination under the Americans With Disabilities Act, but given the CDC and local public health agencies’ guidelines on precautionary measures, the EEOC now says it’s OK for employers to take employees’ temperatures. Keep in mind, however, that some people with COVID-19 don’t have a fever. Employers have to remember that they must keep all medical information private, and that they may risk liability for failing to do so.”

Ronald Zambrano, litigation chair at West Coast Employment Lawyers, can comment about proposed legislation for employees, the laws surrounding layoffs, and other developments that impact workers. He is particularly knowledgeable about issues that will affect the gig economy — Uber, Lyft and delivery drivers.

“The optics for the gig companies couldn’t be worse. Sick workers without income, health insurance, or unemployment benefits could be that eye-opening “aha” moment for the AB 5 opposition,” says employment law attorney Ronald Zambrano. “Uber and Lyft drivers make the most money off of events demanding large crowds that have now been cancelled, but there is zero safety net for them because they’re not considered employees.”

“Uber, Lyft, and Instacart have announced plans to provide some compensation for workers diagnosed or quarantined as a result of the virus, but it really doesn’t work that way. Either workers are employees entitled to sick-leave, unemployment and other benefits of employment, or they’re on their own as independent contractors. There really is no legal middle ground.”

Zambrano can be reached at (213) 927-3700, (818) 419-1642 (mobile) or by email at ron@westcoasttriallawyers.com.

Sonya Goodwin, Partner at Sauer & Wagner LLP of Los Angeles, represents both employees and employers in a wide range of claims, including wage and hour violations, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. Her blogs on coronavirus in the workplace have appeared at GlassDoor.com.

“What happens if your employer cuts back your hours or lays you off due to a downturn in the economy?” asks Sonya Goodwin of Sauer & Wagner LLP. “Do you have any protections if your job slows down or goes away? You might be eligible for unemployment benefits from your state, but if you’re on paid sick leave or family leave and are receiving pay, you won’t be considered unemployed and won’t be eligible for unemployment insurance.”


“You might also be covered by the WARN Act, which requires large companies to give 60 days’ advance written notice before closing plants or doing mass layoffs. If you’re part of a unionized workforce, it’s important to see if there are additional protections under your collective bargaining agreement.”

Los Angeles-area civil litigator Victor L. George, who represents employees in workplace-related litigation, just won a jury verdict for an employee who was fired after returning from medical leave (maybe the last verdict in the Los Angeles courts for the foreseeable future). George can discuss the law surrounding employee medical leave and issues that will arise from the pandemic.

A federal jury in Los Angeles found Wells Fargo maliciously and illegally fired a bank employee in February 2015 over her medical disability, unanimously awarding her $500,000 in punitive and compensatory damages, and George is entitled to an additional $2.3 million in legal fees.

“The verdict sends a powerful message to employers thinking they can terminate workers who must take medical leave for any reason, including coronavirus and its effect on employees and the repercussions to their families,” says George. “You can’t fire them, and it’s highly likely a jury will say you are malicious if you do.”

The case is Samson v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., (16-4839-GW-AGRx, decided March 13, 2020). George can be reached at (310) 508-0406 (mobile) or by email at vgeorge@vgeorgelaw.com

 

Sonya Goodwin, Senior Counsel at Sauer & Wagner LLP of Los Angeles, represents employees and employers in a wide range of claims, including wage and hour violations, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. She can be reached at sgoodwin@swattys.com or (310) 712-8110.

“If you’re under quarantine, it doesn’t mean you have the virus, so there’s a chance you could be fired for missing work. You could argue that your job should be protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a calendar year to care for your own or a family member’s “serious medical condition.”  If you’re in isolation because you’ve been infected with coronavirus, it could qualify as a disability under the ADA, which means you can’t be fired simply because you’re infected.”

“Your best bet, should you dread going to work because of coronavirus, is to use your accrued sick or vacation time and stay home. You could also try asking your employer for a leave of absence, but don’t expect your request to be granted. Imagine what would happen if everybody took a leave of absence at the same time!”

 

Ronald Zambrano, litigation chair at West Coast Employment Lawyers, can comment about proposed legislation for employees, the laws surrounding layoffs, and other developments that impact workers. He is particularly knowledgeable about issues that will affect the gig economy — Uber, Lyft and delivery drivers.

“Can companies ask employees about their travel history, family status and other ‘personal’ information? In these times, under the auspices of safety, they probably have a lot more latitude. The safer approach is for employers to send company-wide notice to their employees to self-regulate; i.e., ‘If you’ve traveled outside the US in last week, don’t come in; if someone you’ve interacted with in the last month has contracted coronavirus, don’t come in, etc.’”

Zambrano can be reached at (213) 927-3700, (818) 419-1642 (mobile) or by email at ron@westcoasttriallawyers.com.

 

Los Angeles-area civil litigator Victor L. George, who represents employees in workplace-related litigation, can address the impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant and hospitality industry, including their rights and EEOC guidance about what employers legally can and cannot do during a pandemic. George can be reached at (310) 508-0406 (mobile) or by email at vgeorge@vgeorgelaw.com.

“Liability surrounding reopening businesses ‘too early’ is not a simple analysis,” says Dallas-based attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel. “In deciding if a plaintiff has a case, lawyers will consider certain facts about whether a state or city acted unreasonably or negligently under the circumstances. That will depend in part on the federal or state guidelines, which in turn depend largely on decreasing infection numbers.”

 

“Take Las Vegas and its casinos, for example. If employees or patrons contract the virus and die, and then tracing leads back to the casino, the analysis includes whether the owners ignored information about the risk and failed to warn employees or customers of that risk. If so, they may have liability. But those are a lot of ifs. Considering how widespread the virus has become, tracing an infection back to any one casino will be difficult.”

 

“That government leaders or politicians would face liability for their actions in pushing for businesses to reopen is unlikely. Government authorities have immunity from most types of lawsuits. Still, determining liability will be fact-intensive and depends on state laws. It won’t be a one-size-fits-all for every jurisdiction.”

 

“Bottom line, Las Vegas casinos attract people from all over the world into closely confined and high-contact spaces. While we want American businesses to reopen and to survive, we also want to do it safely.  Losing one life if it could have been prevented is one too many and could result in liability for these businesses.  That is certainly something both government authorities and business owners need to take into account.”

 

Simpson Tuegel was the first attorney in the country to file suit against MGM Grand after the Las Vegas shooting massacre. She also represents sexual abuse survivors in high-profile cases such as the Larry Nassar litigation against Michigan State University and the U.S. Olympic Committee, sexual abuse by Dr. George Tyndall of University of Southern California, and clergy abuse survivors connected with the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and nationwide. She may be reached at 214-774-9121 or by email at michelle@stfirm.com.

 

 

 

“As long as businesses follow the government guidelines, their exposure to liability for COVID-19 related injuries will be very minimal,” says Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Allen Patatanyan “While businesses have an affirmative duty to provide premises that do not have unreasonably dangerous conditions, they can easily discharge that duty by complying with whatever standards the government has imposed for re-opening the businesses.”

 

“It would be extremely difficult to pursue and maintain a successful civil negligence lawsuit against public officials for their decisions regarding re-opening their local economies. Civil servants enjoy immunity so that they are not paralyzed by fear being exposed to liability. As long as their decision to reopen the economy has some reasonable basis, they will be immune from being liable for any injuries that may result from re-opening the economy.”

 

“In addition to overcoming the immunity that government officials enjoy, it would be difficult for potential claimants to prove causation, i.e. the decision to re-open the economy was a substantial factor in causing the injury.”

 

“The argument that keeping the economy shut down is a violation of civil liberties is not credible, reasonable, nor supported by constitutional law principles. While we do have individual liberty rights under the U.S. and state constitutions, these rights almost always will yield to government action that is based on compelling reason and reasonably tailored to the compelling reason. Here, bending the COVID-19 curve to save lives is as compelling a reason as there can be. And based on scientific experts, stay-home orders are the most effective way to fight the spread of COVID-19 and, therefore, are reasonably tailored to deal with COVID-19.”

 

For more, contact Patatanyan directly at (818) 419-5296 or by email at allen@westcoasttriallawyers.com.

 

 

Regarding discussions about re-opening Las Vegas, “Liability surrounding reopening businesses ‘too early’ is not a simple analysis,” says Los Angeles trial lawyer Joseph H. Low IV. “Nevada, like all other states, has sovereign or governmental immunity protecting the state from tort-based claims. However, an act or omission by a government official failing to exercise due care can be an exception to the rule. In this case, the mayor’s intentional disregard for sound and accepted medical advice from an entire international community would absolutely qualify for an exception to the rule in the state of Nevada. I would definitely file that case to hold her liable for deaths that result from her unwise decision.”

 

For more, contact Low directly at (949) 533-6969 or by email at joseph@jhllaw.com.

Los Angeles-area civil litigator Joseph H. Low IV, who is also a biochemist, can discuss the legal issues that will arise around the transfer of the disease, the rights of patients, potential legal causes of action such as negligence, emotional distress and post-traumatic stress, particularly within the medical community.

“Plenty of people in the United States will suffer both physical and financial damages from the coronavirus, which most experts believe originated in China and that the country did not do enough to prevent its spread. So, lawsuits are inevitable. The first hurdle toward getting to trial, however, is serving the defendant,” says Low.

“To serve process in China, plaintiffs must go through The Hague, the world’s international court in the Netherlands. That could take six months to a year. Next, China would have to comply with the order to answer the complaint and defend itself in a U.S. court. That is highly unlikely.”

“Lawyers may ultimately get a default judgment against China. That means a court will rule in the plaintiffs’ favor because the defendant did not show up to defend itself. But collecting a default judgment could take years and may require the president to put a process in place that benefits the plaintiffs. For example, the president could place a tax on Chinese imports and collect that tax to satisfy the judgment.”

For more, Low can be reached at (949) 533-6969 or by email at joseph@jhllaw.com.

 

Los Angeles litigator Allen Patatanyan is available to discuss general liability issues and insurance coverage from a legal perspective, including how much of any monetary loss could likely be reimbursed through insurance.

“It is possible to sue China, but extremely difficult,” says Patatanyan. “The Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FISA) provides the exclusive basis for U.S. federal courts to exercise ‘subject matter jurisdiction’ over foreign countries. Generally, foreign governments enjoy immunity from civil lawsuits in the United States under FSIA, yet FSIA does provide a very limited basis for suing foreign sovereign governments. Once a defendant establishes that it is a foreign state — and there is no question that China is one — for the lawsuit to go forward, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to prove that one of the exceptions to immunity applies.”

 

“That plaintiff must prove that either China waived the FSIA immunity (express or implied) or China’s negligence was connected to a commercial activity (as opposed to public activity). Plaintiffs face a serious roadblock to prove that China’s negligence in handling the outbreak of COVID-19 is connected to any commercial activity as opposed to public activity.”

 

“Chinese representatives will take the time to defend themselves in an American court. FSIA provides a solid basis for foreign states to get rid of lawsuits at a very early stage. Simply invoking FSIA will trigger the plaintiff’s burden to show the court that an exception to FSIA immunity applies, which will be very difficult to do.”

 

“Since China still engages in copyright and trademark infringements despite attempts to stop them, you see how difficult it is to enforce judgments against it,” says Patatanyan. “China is not a signatory to any treaty that allows for enforcement of foreign judgments.”

 

“I am not aware of any lawsuit of the potential COVID-19 magnitude against a foreign country,” says Patatanyan. “The most similar lawsuit I can think of is when the families and victims of the 9/11 attacks sued Saudi Arabia, alleging that the Saudi leaders had indirectly financed Al-Qaeda. In 2008, Saudi Arabia invoked FSIA’s immunity. Congress responded in 2016 by overriding President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, amending FSIA and allowing the families’ suit against Saudi Arabia to proceed in U.S. courts.”

 

“Assuming the plaintiffs can overcome the serious jurisdictional roadblocks, to prove their claim that COVID-19 was a bioengineered virus and China was neglecting transparency about what was going on, plaintiffs must establish credible expert witnesses.”

 

“For now, this theory is just one of many theories floating around. I have not seen any credible scientific evidence that proves with reasonable degree of scientific certainty that COVID-19 is a bioengineered virus; and China created COVID-19.”

 

“Interestingly, proving that China acted negligently will probably be the easiest task facing plaintiffs. There is sufficient information to establish that the Chinese government was more worried about keeping everything secret and handling the outbreak internally instead of warning other countries as soon as it could to prevent the outbreak of the virus into other countries.”

 

“If it does come out that this was a bioengineered virus and was carelessly released, the plaintiffs have an extra negligence theory of liability,” says Patatanyan. “Plaintiffs can show China was negligent in properly maintaining the bioengineered COVID-19, of properly containing the outbreak and of warning the United States, which could have taken early measures to prevent the virus from entering our borders.”

 

“I don’t think a class action lawsuit is frivolous, but I have serious concerns that it may not survive if China invokes FSIA immunity,” says Patatanyan. “I don’t see a reasonably persuasive argument that one of the exceptions to FSIA immunity applies here. So, unless Congress intervenes and amends FSIA to expend the exceptions to FSIA immunity so that the federal courts can exercise subject matter jurisdiction over China in connection to China’s alleged negligent handling of COVID-19, I don’t think a class action will be successful.”

For more, Patatanyan can be reached at (213) 927-3700 (office), (818) 419-5296 (mobile), or by email at allen@westcoasttriallawyers.com.

Los Angeles litigator and former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani is available to answer questions about potential litigation and aspects of the pandemic covered by federal law. Rahmani can also comment about the impact of court closures on criminal defendants and other litigants. Rahmani can be reached at (213) 927-3700 (office), (310) 770-7864 (mobile), or by email at nr@westcoasttriallawyers.com.

Civil rights

DeWitt M. Lacy, of the John Burris Law Firm, has been practicing civil rights law for over a decade He handles all aspects of litigation and has significant experience in the areas of Section 1983 Civil Rights litigation, wrongful death, employment discrimination, and personal injury. Regarding defendants’ due-process rights, Lacy empathizes with both sides, as he also  doesn’t want his health put in jeopardy unnecessarily.

“Courts across the country are struggling with ways to uphold individual rights to a speedy trial amid the coronavirus epidemic,” says Lacy. “Violent persons who pose a significant danger to the public should be detained and prosecuted. But non-violent detainees may need to be released on their own recognizance on their promise to appear, with no cash bail.”

“A lot of people accused of non-violent offenses or less violent offenses may be willing to forgo their right to a speedy trial if it means being around the courthouse and in lockup during this pandemic — even if they’re confident they will be exonerated. They may not be so worried about a short jail sentence, as they are worried about a death sentence if they get coronavirus. In that case, they’d probably rather have justice delayed for a couple of months.”

Lacy brings not only a civil rights perspective but helpful insights about how people, including inmates and their attorneys, really feel about these issues. Lacy can be reached at (310) 601-7070 (office); (415) 378-9953 (mobile); or by email at dewitt.lacy@johnburrislaw.com. Here is a recent video clip of Lacy.

Los Angeles litigator and former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani is available to answer questions about the impact of court closures on criminal defendants and other litigants. Rahmani can be reached at (213) 927-3700 (office), (310) 770-7864 (mobile), or by email at nr@westcoasttriallawyers.com.

Brands
Brands-in-crisis expert Eden Gillott, president of Gillott Communications in New York and Los Angeles and author of the upcoming “A Business Owner’s Guide to Crisis PR,” her third crisis public relations guide, can discuss how boards, CEOs and other business leaders can communicate to employees, clients, customers and other stakeholders about how the coronavirus is impacting the business, and will continue to do so. Here is her Forbes article on the topic. Gillott says that many of the email communications businesses are sending clients and customers are off the mark and not reassuring. “I’ve been advising clients to turn those boilerplate emails on their heads. Consider your message from your customer’s perspective, not yours. Use subject lines that tell the story without the need to open the email. Pick up the phone and call your most important people (clients, vendors, etc.). That’s crucial because many of us have forgotten the importance and impact a phone call can make.” You can contact Gillott directly at (212) 300-3963 or by email at eden@gillottcommunications.com.
Athletes/The Olympics

Dallas-based attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel, a former elite athlete who won the World Cup in Women’s Slalom in 2005 and competed for the United States in water skiing. Tuegel now represents numerous Olympic and national team athletes in cases against the USOC and others who failed to prioritize the safety and well-being of athletes. She is available to comment about coronavirus in the sports community, particularly the impact on the Tokyo Olympics.

 

“During a time when many Americans are struggling to make their bills and have lost jobs, the USOPC asking for $200 million from the corona stimulus package is a symptom of a greater problem with the head governing body of Olympic sport in this country.

If the USOPC had been unselfishly concerned about the plight of athletes during this unpredictable and difficult time, they would have been the first organization to protect athletes. Instead, they were one of the last.

“Other national governing bodies, such as USA Track & Field and other countries including Canada and Australia released strong statements of concern and pulled out of the Olympic Games, which ultimately pushed the IOC to postpone the games and protect athletes during a time when they could not safely train and could not safely conduct random doping testing.

Meanwhile, the USOC waited until the decision was essentially made to announce public concerns over proceeding, despite the pleas of numerous U.S. athletes and coaches asking them to do so.

“We have serious concerns this money would be more likely used for executive bonuses than to directly support the athletes. But this is typical of an organization that for decades has prioritized protecting their own compensation and their commercial brand. Congress should go directly to current athletes if they want to help them, not to the organization who has exploited and taken so much from them over the years.”

 

Simpson Tuegel has represented sexual abuse survivors in high-profile cases such as the Larry Nassar litigation against USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee, and sexual assault survivors at Michigan State University and the University of Southern California. Here is a recent video clip of Simpson Tuegel. She can be reached directly at michelle@stfirm.com or (214) 774-9121..

Dallas-based attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel, a former elite athlete, has been through stringent, anti-doping controls that all elite athletes are subject to, and knows testing systems well. 

Now that much of the country is under quarantine, she’s raising questions about how standard anti-doping practices, such as early morning surprise visits to athlete’s homes to take urine samples, will be impacted by coronavirus quarantines between now and the next Olympics.

Simpson Tuegel has expressed concern for the safety of both athletes and the personnel whose job it is to administer such tests during quarantines. In addition, she has raised concerns that athletes who want to gain an unfair competitive edge might use the pandemic as a way to opt out of testing, even if for the short period of time — often just 1-2 days — that it would take for performance-enhancing drugs to pass through their systems undetected.

Simpson Tuegel can be reached directly at michelle@stfirm.com or (214) 774-9121. 

Elders and the disabled

Chicago-area lawyer Shawn Collins represents victims of toxic torts (many suffering from cancer), people with disabilities, and seniors suffering from nursing home abuse. Collins can comment about efforts to aid seniors, potential repercussions for care providers of care and what more the country can do to help the vulnerable.
Collins can be reached at (630) 527-1595 (office), (630) 272-8148 (mobile) or by email at shawn@collinslaw.com.

Travel

How LAX international traveler screening compares to other airports: 


Los Angeles lawyer Christa Ramey just returned to Los Angeles from Bali, and was aghast at the sloppy procedures at LAX after experiencing the screenings at airports in Bali, Singapore and Tokyo.

Each of those airports took temperatures, asked questions about health and travel, and isolated pre-screened travelers in separate sections of the airport. She said that if she had been feverish in Singapore, she would not have been allowed to board the next leg of her flight, but would have been taken directly to the hospital, even under protest. She was expecting something similar at LAX since she was instructed to fill out both a health form and customs form while in flight.

But at LAX, she was merely given a receipt and waved through. Here is a link to her short video as she disembarked.


Ramey is available to discuss her experience for a segment or article about airport security/screening. You can reach her directly at (213) 447-4743 or by email at christa@rameylawpc.com.

The insurance industry

Los Angeles-area civil litigator Joseph H. Low IV, who is also a biochemist, can discuss the legal issues that will arise around the transfer of the disease, the rights of patients, potential legal causes of action such as negligence, emotional distress and post-traumatic stress, particularly within the medical community.


“Insurance companies are bankers,” says Low, who frequently sues and negotiates with insurers on behalf of injured clients. “They should remember that not too long ago the country bailed them out of their catastrophic mistakes. Stepping up to find a way to pay the claims of their policyholders who need assistance is the way they can pay back the American people.”


“It’s fair to point out that they owe Americans 12 years of interest for their bailout. Why not use those profits — and earn millions in goodwill — by ensuring their policyholders don’t lose their businesses to bankruptcy or their homes to pay medical bills.”

“It wouldn’t hurt to remind insurers they have a fiduciary duty to their clients. In their zeal to find a way to deny a claim or pay as little as possible, we can’t let them forget who pays their bills — the very people they plan to deny valid claims.”

Low says he has detailed files about most of the major insurance companies, their adjusters, and the lengths they go to to deny claims. He has specific strategies specific to each company and is able to discuss what policyholders are likely to encounter.

For more, Low can be reached at (949) 533-6969 or by email at joseph@jhllaw.com.

Sexual assault investigations

Monterey County has begun urging women to begin using do-it-yourself rape kits during the coronavirus outbreak, asking women to perform their own swabs and provide their own evidence to police, under video supervision. This practice raises questions about how DIY evidence collection would hold up in criminal court. 

 

Former San Diego Police Department Crime Lab Director Jennifer Shen said of the tests:

“My biggest concern would be the lack of medical assessment of the victim, to include both physical and psychological trauma. Next, many sexual assault survivors are not certain where evidence should be collected, as alcohol and drugs can impair memory. Correct collection techniques on oneself, without having any specific training, does not provide the best evidence for laboratories to test. Then, there are the court implications. Without a correct chain of custody for the evidence, which would include forensic observation of the collection of that evidence, I cannot see how it would be admissible in court.”

Jennifer Shen may be reached by email at jlynnshen@yahoo.com, or phone (858) 945-7145. For more on her background, please visit jenshenforensics.com/.

Find legal experts to comment on coronavirus and:

Free content from Newsroom Newswire:

Workers whose job status changed because of shutdowns should seek benefits and understand their rights

With a whopping 22 million Americans recently filing claims for unemployment, the jobs picture is decidedly bleak. The good news is that most workers who have lost jobs or been furloughed because of the economic effects of coronavirus are entitled to unemployment benefits, allowing them to keep their heads above water for the time being. “Every employee laid off or furloughed should be applying for unemployment,” said Ronald Zambrano, litigation chair at West Coast Employment Lawyers in Los Angeles. Even employees still working but with reduced hours are eligible for benefits through California’s Employment Development Department, he said.

Attorneys persevere despite court closures, trial delays

A downtown personal injury attorney schedules surgeries himself for clients suffering orthopedic injuries. A westside lawyer sets Zoom conferences for sunrise so her clients’ children don’t miss home schooling. And in the South Bay, a litigator seeks out a disability discrimination jury verdict against Wells Fargo as courthouse doors slam shut across the state. While many workers self-quarantine at home watching Netflix and learning to bake, the state’s attorneys say they’re only working harder and finding creative ways to keep the wheels of justice turning during a surreal time of dark courthouses and wholesale releases of inmates.

Cyber education raises the risk of cyberbullying

As families shelter in place, parents working to manage their children’s online educations are finding they have an additional obligation: Monitoring learning sessions in the age of cyberbullying.

As students are increasingly educated via computers and smartphones, the potential for cyberbullying grows. 

Beware: As coronavirus circulates, scammers follow close behind

As fearful Californians shelter in place and shudder over every apocalyptic news story about the coronavirus, scammers see something else — dollar signs.

Think about it: Parents working from home while managing school-aged children are distracted. They grow weary and let their guard down, and open an email they shouldn’t have. Many scared Baby Boomers, the most vulnerable to the most harmful effects of the virus, are looking for miracle cures and good news from helpful sources — even strangers.

Detecting and Discussing Cyberbullying While Home With Your School-Age Children

One upside to stay-at-home orders is that families, forced to spend a lot of time together, are getting to know each other again. Lines of communication are opening up, with parents and children perhaps growing far more aware of what’s going on in each others’ lives. There’s a greater opportunity for often-neglected topics to be discussed in casual conversations.

So this just might be a perfect time to speak with your child about cyberbullying.

Bullying has been around as long as children, but its results are becoming increasingly more widespread and harmful now that most students have devices to send texts and videos. According to a 2019 survey from the Cyberbullying Research Center, almost 37 percent of middle and high school students from around the country reported being cyberbullied, primarily through mean or hurtful comments and rumors spread online.

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