In tight times, employers must explore every cost-saving option. After looking at several ways to balance the budget, you may decide you need to trim the workforce.
Don’t be surprised if a laid-off employee sues, alleging that you could have cut other expenses before reducing the size of your staff.
Recent case: University employee Linda sued for reverse discrimination, and the case was eventually settled. Soon after, the university formed a committee to cut costs. Although it tossed around many ideas, the committee ultimately decided to eliminate some positions, including Linda’s.
She sued, alleging retaliation for the earlier lawsuit. She argued that the university could have implemented other cost-cutting ideas instead. Refusing to second-guess the university, the court tossed out Linda’s case. (Bourgeois v. Mississippi Valley State University, No. 12-60425, 5th Cir., 2013)
- Despite complaint, unreasonable demands may merit firing
- 'Same-actor' defense won't always work; establish unbiased reasons for firings
- Don't use weight as an excuse not to hire, no matter the cost
- State workers have limited right to challenge firings
- A good deed punished: Voluntary FMLA leave can become a mandate