Reductions in force are risky, so plan them carefully. Before you try to explain why you’re letting certain employees go, make sure your reasons make sense.
Recent case: Bonnie Marcus and three other employees over age 40 were terminated during a reduction in force. The employer tried to argue that they were picked because the funding for their positions had been pulled from the budget.
They sued, alleging age discrimination, and soon uncovered the fact that younger employees whose salaries came from the same budget line had been retained. Plus, the company rehired several younger employees, but none of the older ones.
The court ordered a jury trial. (Marcus, et al., v. PQ Corporation, No. 07-2075, ED PA 2009)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Legal compliance starts at the very beginning—with hiring
- The case of the purloined letter: Real resignation or post-affair retaliation?
- Poll: 1 in 3 employers fire for tardiness
- When talk turns to sex, watch out for harassment claims from unexpected victims