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Laying off employee who’s out on FMLA leave? Better be prepared to back up the rationale


If an employer has to downsize due to economic conditions, employees who are out on FMLA leave aren’t immune. They can be included in the reduction in force as long as their FMLA status isn’t used as a factor. But employers have to be careful—it will look suspicious if the only employee laid off happens to have been out on FMLA leave or just returned from it.

Another mortgage bailout, this time for Florida workers


The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced it will spend $1.6 million to help retrain 600 mortgage industry workers who lost their jobs at the Taylor, Bean, and Whitaker mortgage company in Northern and Central Florida. The money will provide training assistance to workers so they can qualify for jobs in the health care and IT.

RIF? Make sure layoff decision-makers don’t know workers’ FMLA status


Economic times remain tough, and businesses are still finding they have to cut costs to survive. And cutting costs often means looking at a possible reduction in force. In most organizations facing that difficult prospect, a team of managers has to decide where the cuts should be made and what criteria to use when making those cuts. Make sure the decision-making team doesn’t have access to information about FMLA usage …

Helping out when laying off: Supplemental unemployment plans


Layoffs are difficult for employees and employers alike. In these tough economic times, some employers are trying to help employees during layoffs and help prevent the permanent loss of good employees by implementing supplemental unemployment benefit plans.

How to guarantee a lawsuit: Terminate only older workers during reduction in force


Are you planning a reduction in force due to the poor economy? If so, double-check who is going to lose their jobs, paying particular attention to whether the burden falls predominantly on workers over age 40. If that is the case, make absolutely certain you have legitimate business reasons to back up your decision to fire them.

Daimler Truck workers get federal unemployment assistance


Laid-off Daimler Trucks North America workers at the company’s Gastonia plant are eligible for assistance under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, which provides extended unemployment compensation benefits to workers who lose their jobs because of competition from imported products.

DEED: Half of employers shirking WARN Act obligations


Businesses that plan to lay off enough workers to trigger the federal WARN Act must give 60 days’ notice to employees and state officials. That’s supposed to allow state Rapid Response teams enough time to start helping find new jobs for soon-to-be displaced workers. But the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) says in many cases employer cooperation is grudging at best.

Take these 4 steps before you implement a reduction in force


As the recession continues, many employers have had to turn to reductions in force as an unfortunate yet necessary cost-saving measure. Count on some of those former employees to sue. Employers considering implementing RIFs must understand the legal and practical issues that can trap the unwary. Taking these four steps can minimize the risks of lawsuits:

FMLA notwithstanding, it’s OK to consider attendance in RIF


Employers that must decide whom to cut during a reduction in force sometimes mistakenly fear they can’t terminate someone who is out on FMLA leave—even if the employee had an atrocious attendance record before she went on leave. That’s simply not fair to other employees.

Are we too small to WARN?


Q. We are considering laying off approximately 20 of our 83 employees. If we move forward with this plan, is there any requirement that we provide advance notice to the employees who will be subjected to layoff?