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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
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Use rational business reasons to justify RIF choice


When employees lose their jobs, they naturally wonder why they were chosen. Employees who recently have complained about discrimination—real or imagined—often do more than wonder. They often jump to the conclusion that they have been fired in retaliation for complaining. That conclusion can lead to a lawsuit. Be prepared with solid and rational reasons why you chose the employee who got the ax …

Track rejected job offers to show lack of discrimination


Employees who begin to feel less valued at work often look for some underlying reason. Often they focus on suspected age, sex, national origin or some other form of discrimination. Then, when a layoff or reorganization costs them their jobs, they sue. Frequently they’ll argue that they should have been offered open positions, even if it would have meant receiving a smaller salary than they had been making …

Do temporary employees count for WARN Act?


Q. Our company may be closing a small facility in which 25 regular employees and 50 additional temporary employees work. Do we include the temporary employees when we decide whether we must give a WARN Act plant-closing notice? …

Unemployment following a strike


Q. We are a small, nonunion parts supplier for a large, unionized manufacturing plant. Due to an ongoing strike by our primary customer’s union, demand for our product has decreased significantly, and we are having difficulty meeting payroll. Consequently, we are preparing to lay off several of our staff. Our CFO remembered reading that in Indiana, someone who loses his job due to a strike is not eligible for unemployment compensation. But, because the only reason we are laying our people off is due to the strike at our customer’s facility, can we contest unemployment for our laid-off staff? …

Satellite offices may not count for WARN layoff notice


The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to provide 60 days’ notice before a plant closing or a mass layoff involving 50 or more employees at a “single site of employment.” Employees have tried to argue that satellite offices should be included to determine if WARN notification was due …

IT administrator who planted ‘Logic bomb’ pleads guilty


Yung-Hsun “Andy” Lin, a former systems administrator at Medco Health Solutions, pleaded guilty to planting a “logic bomb” on the company’s computer network because he suspected he was about to be laid off. The malicious software, a string of coding that would have wreaked havoc on the company’s systems, was set to detonate on Lin’s birthday …

Court: If employees hold the job, they’re ‘Qualified’


Employers are finding it harder to get age discrimination cases dismissed early. They also are learning that beating age discrimination suits requires rock-solid evidence of fair and equal treatment—and a genuine, legitimate reason for discharging the employee that has nothing to do with age …

Prevent ‘Survivor syndrome’: Avoid turnover after layoffs


Issue: After a round of layoffs, remaining employees will wonder "Who’s next?"
Risk: That insecurity can cause layoff survivors to "fire themselves" and seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Action: Don’t …

Supreme Court to hear important employment law case


In a term that will be dominated by cases concerning Guantanamo detainees and the power of the Executive branch, the U.S. Supreme Court will also hear an important case involving employment discrimination.

American Home Mortgage employees blindsided by shutdown


American Home Mortgage (AHM) was reportedly still hiring employees by the dozens when it crashed in the first week of August. More than 6,000 employees, including 1,300 in the company’s Melville headquarters, were let go with a single day’s notice …