LAYOFFS

What employee thresholds trigger need for notification of plant closings?

07/31/2014
Q. I am the owner of several industrial facilities, but recent financial crises have forced me to have to shut down two of these plants. These closings and subsequent layoffs will affect about 600 employees. Am I re­­quired to notify the employees before laying them off?

Separation agreements: Use arbitration agreements instead of claims releases?

07/15/2014
Q. We have seen that some companies are requiring their employees to agree to arbitration rather than a release of claims in their separation agreements. Is this an alternative worth exploring?

Watch out! EEOC takes aim at separation agreements

07/15/2014
To stay out of the cross-hairs, review your separation agreements and revise any language that could be seen as too broad.

Back RIF decisions with sound fiscal reasons--and prepare to explain them in court

07/09/2014
If an employer can present a coherent and rational explanation for why economics—not retaliation—drove a RIF decision, chances are a court won’t second-guess it.

Prepare to show you were fair if disabled workers take a hit during RIF

06/16/2014
Sometimes, poor appearances lead to lawsuits. That can certainly be the case when a reduction in force (RIF) seems to disproportionately affect a protected class of workers.

In a layoff, must we provide severance pay?

05/28/2014
Q. Our company is going to lay off several employees. Are we required to provide severance pay to those employees? If we provide severance pay, can we demand that employees sign a severance agreement stating that they will not sue the company?

Justify RIF by citing business necessity

05/22/2014
Sometimes, it makes sense for a business to reduce costs. One way may be to cut personnel, especially employees who are highly compensated and whose work may be redundant. A danger, of course, is that the most highly paid may be older workers, and terminating them may prompt an age discrimination lawsuit.

Court blocks Teamsters' bid to thwart company sale

04/14/2014
A court has ruled that the Teamsters union can’t scuttle the sale of Will Poultry, a Buffalo food distributor.

Beware retaliation when rehiring after layoff

04/03/2014

When an employee complains about discrimination and then finds himself part of a reduction in force, he may have a tough time proving that the complaint had ­anything to do with the layoff. But if he then ends up being the only employee never recalled or rehired, he may have a retaliation case.

Employees not relocating: What do we owe them?

03/28/2014
Q. We are relocating to another state. While several employees will not be given relocation packages, I do plan to give them severance packages. Is it legal to require them to stay to a certain date in order to receive the severance?

'Resign or be fired': Humane offer or a risky ultimatum?

03/24/2014

Have you ever presented an em­­ployee the option to resign or get fired? Doing so today just may fall under the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished category. As this new ruling shows, such ultimatums might ultimately give you ulcers in court under the “ultimatum theory” of liability ...

How are layoffs supposed to be handled when someone buys my business?

03/06/2014
Q. Do I have to follow the WARN Act if someone buys my business?

RIF results in less workforce diversity? Be ready to prove bias wasn't the motive

02/28/2014
An employee who has lost his job may look at the resulting workforce and conclude that his race or other protected characteristic was why he was part of the reduction in force. Prepare for such potential charges with solid documentation showing you had a business reason for each position you cut—and that you didn’t consider who held the job.

Cite solid reason for termination to beat bias lawsuit based on statistical argument

02/26/2014
Employers that always have a clear and solid business reason for discharging employees seldom lose discrimination cases. That’s because even if a protected class member is affected, it’s very hard to counter the employer’s claim it terminated the employee for legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons.

Fire at Will Doctrine

01/19/2014

HR Law 101: Under the law in most states, if there’s no employment contract, workers are employed on an “at-will” basis. That means employers have the right to fire employees at any time for any reason or no reason, and, conversely, employees have the right to leave the organization at any time ...

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