When handing out RIF pink slips, avoid age bias claims by offering good business reasons — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

When handing out RIF pink slips, avoid age bias claims by offering good business reasons

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When a company reorganizes and consolidates several positions into one, the resulting reduction in force (RIF) may affect an older employee. The employee who loses a job may feel the real reason is age and that the employer took advantage of a RIF to eliminate older workers.

You can structure your RIFs to avoid losing an age discrimination claim. The key is to lay out a strict, business-based rationale for any changes, including consolidated positions. Then document why the employee who got the new position was the best qualified for the job.

Caveat: If supervisors have made ageist comments, it will be much tougher to argue that age wasn’t a factor in the RIF.

Recent case: Mike worked for the Belk department store chain until he lost his job at age 63 during a RIF.

His position, director of customer relationship management, was consolidated with that of the company’s vice president of marketing and customer research. The new...(register to read more)

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