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Layoffs

In a layoff, must we provide severance pay?

05/28/2014
Q. Our company is going to lay off several employees. Are we required to provide severance pay to those employees? If we provide severance pay, can we demand that employees sign a severance agreement stating that they will not sue the company?

Justify RIF by citing business necessity

05/22/2014
Sometimes, it makes sense for a business to reduce costs. One way may be to cut personnel, especially employees who are highly compensated and whose work may be redundant. A danger, of course, is that the most highly paid may be older workers, and terminating them may prompt an age discrimination lawsuit.

Court blocks Teamsters’ bid to thwart company sale

04/14/2014
A court has ruled that the Teamsters union can’t scuttle the sale of Will Poultry, a Buffalo food distributor.

Beware retaliation when rehiring after layoff

04/03/2014

When an employee complains about discrimination and then finds himself part of a reduction in force, he may have a tough time proving that the complaint had ­anything to do with the layoff. But if he then ends up being the only employee never recalled or rehired, he may have a retaliation case.

Employees not relocating: What do we owe them?

03/28/2014
Q. We are relocating to another state. While several employees will not be given relocation packages, I do plan to give them severance packages. Is it legal to require them to stay to a certain date in order to receive the severance?

‘Resign or be fired’: Humane offer or a risky ultimatum?

03/24/2014

Have you ever presented an em­­ployee the option to resign or get fired? Doing so today just may fall under the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished category. As this new ruling shows, such ultimatums might ultimately give you ulcers in court under the “ultimatum theory” of liability …

How are layoffs supposed to be handled when someone buys my business?

03/06/2014
Q. Do I have to follow the WARN Act if someone buys my business?

RIF results in less workforce diversity? Be ready to prove bias wasn’t the motive

02/28/2014
An employee who has lost his job may look at the resulting workforce and conclude that his race or other protected characteristic was why he was part of the reduction in force. Prepare for such potential charges with solid documentation showing you had a business reason for each position you cut—and that you didn’t consider who held the job.

Cite solid reason for termination to beat bias lawsuit based on statistical argument

02/26/2014
Employers that always have a clear and solid business reason for discharging employees seldom lose discrimination cases. That’s because even if a protected class member is affected, it’s very hard to counter the employer’s claim it terminated the employee for legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons.

It’s business as usual, even after sex change

01/14/2014
If you have an employee going through a sex change or other gender-identity issues, follow the ­lesson from the employer in this case: Treat such employees as you always have and make sure they aren’t harassed by co-workers. But don’t fear legitimate discipline or an evaluation based on performance.