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Setting layoff criteria? You can ignore past performance


When planning a layoff or restructuring, you can set criteria for who gets the ax by focusing on employees’ potential future contributions and ignoring their past performance …

California WARN Act


During a downsizing, employers have a legal obligation to inform their workers and the government of such action under certain circumstances. California employers must follow two sets of rules: the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and the state’s own tougher standard …

In layoffs, keep FMLA leave out of performance rankings


Employees are not immune from layoffs simply because they’ve taken FMLA leave in the past (or are currently out on FMLA leave). But when analyzing performance to determine which employees to lay off, keep FMLA leave days out of the decision

Sample Policy: At-Will Employment

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Davis Vision loses NY contract; unions concerned about job cuts


After 23 years, New York-based Davis Vision has lost its contract to provide vision benefits to state employees …

Release only essential information about a RIF


When conducting a reduction in force (RIF), it’s vital to handle severance offers carefully. Make sure you don’t needlessly give discharged employees the idea that they can file an age-discrimination lawsuit …

Beware linking RIF with retirement incentives


It’s not uncommon during economic downturns for organizations to conduct a RIF and—if the expected savings don’t materialize—to follow up with a retirement-incentive plan. But be aware of one pitfall …

Beware giving contradictory reasons for a layoff


When explaining to employees the reasons for a layoff, make sure you don’t contradict yourself. That’s especially true when the same manager gives an employee different reasons: A jury can take those contradictions and infer discrimination …

Layoff choices: Focus on performance, not just salary level


Nothing triggers age discrimination lawsuits like a layoff. After all, saving money is a primary consideration in most decisions to downsize. And because long-term employees are often paid more than newer employees, organizations that focus on money often end up with layoff lists heavy with post-40-year-olds. That’s a recipe for an Age Discrimination in Employment Act lawsuit …

RIF justifications need only be ‘Reasonable’ to stand up


If your organization plans a reduction in force, you can rest assured that you don’t have to prove that your method for selecting employees is the absolute best way to achieve your business goals …