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discrimiation suit following layoff

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  • discrimiation suit following layoff

    Due to strictly financial reasons, we found it necessary to reduce the workforce and laid off several people. We even gave them severance pay. Now we're being faced with a wrongful termination claim & discrimination suit.

    Are there any employers out there who can lend a hand or direct me to a statute outlining the rules of a layoff?

  • #2
    I'm not sure a stutute is going to be much help in this case. You have the right to lay people off; you just have to make sure you don't do so in a way that violates a law or any contractual rights the employees might have. Assuming there are no contractul obligations at issue (there generally aren't, but you can confirm that), you just have to make sure you lay people off based on legitimate, performance-related criteria, and that individuals or classes of individuals are not treated differently (discriminated against) in the process. There is no way to guarantee that you won't get sued in the process. Indeed, in this economy, I'd be surprised to hear that a significant lay-off didn't trigger at least a couple of exploratory lawsuits. However, if you move ahead fairly and honestly (don't lie to people about why you're letting them go - even if it's to spare their feelings), you're chances of prevailing in the end arre greatly enhanced.

    BK

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