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Chicago sit-in employees will be called back


The 250 Republic Windows and Doors workers who staged a sit-in at the Chicago plant last December will be called back to work over the next few months as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. The workers started the sit-in after Republic owner Rich Gillman closed the unionized plant and opened a nonunion plant in Iowa days later.

Can we cut employee pay to reduce costs?


Q. We are considering layoffs but would like to avoid them. Can we cut employees’ pay because of tough economic times?

Furloughs and unpaid time off create wage-and-hour problems


Family-friendly practices have suddenly taken a back seat as struggling businesses focus on the bottom line. Now employers are looking for other ways to give employees time off, albeit involuntarily. But when employers impose furloughs, forced shutdowns and reduced work schedules on exempt salaried employees in increments of other than a full week, it can jeopardize exemptions under the FLSA.

How does an employee’s FMLA leave status affect how we conduct a layoff?


Q. I am the HR manager of a company with about 350 employees. I have just learned that the company is eliminating one product line and, as a result, there will be a layoff in that department. One of the employees who would be laid off is on FMLA leave. How do I handle this situation? …

Must we pay workers’ weekend travel time to new location?


Q. We are closing one facility and laying off a large number of workers. In lieu of immediate layoffs, however, we want to temporarily transfer some maintenance employees from another facility 800 miles away. They have agreed to perform this work, which will take about three months. Do we have to pay them for the time spent traveling to the new work location, which will occur over a weekend?

Citigroup accused of ‘recessionary’ sex bias


In a textbook illustration of the perils of downsizing, a group of female executives has filed suit against beleaguered banking giant Citigroup, charging the bank’s layoffs hit women executives harder than men. That, attorney Douglas Wigdor told Forbes.com, is “recessionary discrimination.”

TARP provisions force banks to rescind job offers


Chalk it up to the rule of unanticipated consequences: Banks that took federal bailout money are rescinding job offers to foreign-born MBAs. No, it’s not discrimination based on foreign origin. Rather, it’s one of the strings attached to billions in TARP funds.

Shopper’s Vineyard settles race discrimination suit


The Shopper’s Vineyard wine superstore in Clifton has agreed to settle a race discrimination case after the EEOC filed suit on behalf of a black front-line manager who was terminated during an alleged downsizing.

May we supplement unemployment comp benefits for temporarily laid-off workers?


Q. We need to temporarily lay off some employees. It will be hard for them to make it on the amount of unemployment benefits. Can we supplement their unemployment benefits without interfering with the unemployment benefits?

What risks do we run if older worker loses job in restructuring?


Q. We’re a small business (just eight employees) and haven’t laid anyone off. But business is slow and we need to restructure. We have an employee who has worked here part time (12 hours per week) for 25 years. She is 65 years old. We have one other part-timer (10 hours per week) who has worked here just one year. We’d like to lay off both part-time employees and keep the full-time employees. Can we do that?