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Layoffs

Need to lay off older employee? You can do so without violating age discrimination laws

03/06/2019
Eliminating an older worker’s job doesn’t necessarily mean you are committing age discrimination—as long as you don’t replace the worker with someone substantially younger.

No absolute requirement to notify laid-off workers that their jobs are open again

02/22/2019
Sometimes, workers who are laid off are told they’re eligible for rehire. But absent a specific promise to call if there’s a job opening, employees can’t wait months or years to complain about discrimination when they discover the job was open and someone else filled it.

Feel free to consider past discipline when rehiring staff you previously laid off

11/13/2018
When workers apply for other, open positions that they’re at least marginally qualified for, their past disciplinary history may be a good reason to not rehire them.

Document each step of the RIF process

10/31/2018
Chances are an employee won’t be able to make discrimination charges stick if you can clearly show 1) when you chose who to terminate and 2) for what legitimate business reason.

Check layoff rationale for signs of hidden discrimination

10/03/2018
A layoff based on legitimate business reasons can still form the basis for a retaliation claim if the layoff decision was based on ulterior motives.

Layoffs and union contracts: When seniority collides with disability, seniority prevails

08/06/2018
When conducting layoffs, some employers give preference to more experienced workers, letting them keep their jobs while less senior workers must go. Disabled employees who get bumped may claim they should have been given preference, keeping their jobs as a reasonable accommodation.

Reorganization can justify termination decision

08/06/2018
Courts are naturally suspicious when employees who have filed lawsuits end up getting fired. But when an employer can explain that someone lost her job because of a valid business reason, courts seldom second-guess that decision.

When planning layoffs, conduct audit to ensure there’s no age discrimination

08/01/2018
Calculate the average age of the workers you plan to retain and compare it to the workers you plan to terminate.

Never mention workers’ ages when discussing reduction in force

08/21/2017
What not to do when closing down offices in which workers are older than the company average: Mention that eventually you may be able to hire younger replacements at lower cost. That’s just asking for a lawsuit.

Was that really a layoff, or just an excuse to get rid of a squeaky wheel?

08/09/2017
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals had reinstated a lawsuit against a grain operator based on the suspicious timing of a discharge and the use of what the court thought sounded like a manufactured excuse for not rehiring the worker.