Workplace bullying, harassment, and unfair dismissal complaints have skyrocketed due to Covid-19.
Employment advocate Alex Kersjes said emails and calls to his company Sacked Kiwi had more than doubled since New Zealand went into lockdown close to three months ago.
And in the past week - as New Zealanders settle into office life - complaints about bullying have reached a record level.
"Calls about bullying and harassment have been massive in the past week and I'm fearful about what will happen when the second tranche of wage subsidies finishes," Kersjes said.
"We always deal with a lot of these types of cases but this has been a significant jump and very recently," Kersjes said.
Kersjes suspected the spike in bullying complaints was because people had been away from the office for the lockdown period and had returned to the workplace quite elated.
"Then all of a sudden the pressure and stress of the situation has kicked in and the strain has started to show."
Kersjes had fielded calls from people who were told they should feel grateful to have a job and then put under immense pressure to perform.
Others felt they had been pushed out of work when there were other options.
There were also a large proportion of the calls, Kersjes said, about employers who had claimed the wage subsidy and had not passed it on to staff.
"There were employers who took the subsidy in the early stages and then promptly made people redundant," he said.
This time last year a Statistics New Zealand survey of 300,000 workers revealed one in 10 felt they were discriminated against, harassed, or bullied at work.
Kersjes said that would rise with the stress and fallout from Covid-19.
Other employment lawyers had experienced a similar surge in calls - and they were also related to Covid-19.
Employment lawyer Catherine Stewart said there has been an increase in calls.
"Covid-19 has touched on a lot of aspects of employment law, there has been a noticeable upswing."
"It is too early for cases yet but we know they are on their way."
Successfully argued bullying and dismissal cases could be expensive for employers with recent cases of $20,000 compensation heard through the ERA.
Kersjes agreed it was too early to see any case before the Employment Relations Authority but said "a huge wave of Covid-19 ERA cases was coming."
He said the next few months would be interesting and the court would be a testing ground for cases.
There were a lot of businesses that used the "force majeure clause" when terminating staff when it shouldn't have been used.
Force majeure removes liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that prevent participants from fulfilling obligations.
Kersjes said there were some unavoidable redundancies in the tourism sector where the clause could be used but "a tremendous number where it shouldn't have been."
"We will have to test those in court."
To avoid claims of unjustified dismissal or accusations of bullying and harassment he said employers needed to follow the correct processes.
"Covid-19 has not affected employment law, everything still needs to follow the correct process." he said.
The Ministry of Business Innovation and employment had up to date information and guidance for employers and employees about Covid-19.