Tips on Avoiding Wrongful Termination Lawsuits Resulting from Recession-Related Layoffs

With Labor Department data showing the highest layoff rate in five years, related employment suits will also likely rise.
By: AlphaStaff Group, Inc.
AlphStaff, a human resource outsourcing company
AlphStaff, a human resource outsourcing company
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Wrongful Termination
Wrongful Termination Litigation
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Human resources

Ft. Lauderdale - Florida - US

Dec. 29, 2008 - PRLog -- Ft. Lauderdale, FL – With Labor Department data showing the highest layoff rate in five years, related employment suits will also likely rise. “As the number of employee layoffs increases, the potential for litigation also goes up,” explained Heather Gatley, executive vice president of human resource services at AlphaStaff Group, Inc., a human resource outsourcing (HRO) company that provides HR services, training and counsel to hundreds of small and midsize companies nationwide.  

Layoffs and terminations can lead to suits ranging from age discrimination to wrongful termination, and more. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported 2007 as having the highest volume of incoming private sector discrimination charge filings since 2002 and the largest annual increase since the early 1990s. Additionally, employers are facing new legal challenges as an onslaught of baby boomers trigger a new wave of age bias lawsuits.

“Employers need to be especially conscientious of legal obligations during a recession,” said Gatley. “Adopting fair employee policies and documenting your company’s termination procedures now will help prevent HR-related lawsuits resulting from wrongful termination.”  

Gatley recommends reviewing the following items when considering workforce reductions:

1.  Determine the method for who will be laid off. Eliminations can be based on job category, merit, seniority, or other factors

2.  Train managers on the communications plan before performing Reduction in Force (RIF) evaluation

3.  Document everything, from the reason for the layoff to the selection procedure

4.  Have objectively justifiable statistics

5.  Don’t make false promises, or be dishonest to the employee being laid off

6.  Always have two people present during exit interviews

As a HRO, AlphaStaff sees the insides of hundreds of companies and works to ensure its clients are following best practices to prevent HR-related suits. Companies of all sizes and industries will benefit from speaking with an expert in this area. “Damages from wrongful termination or discrimination suits can be extraordinary,” added Gatley. “A little planning and procedure clarification can help pull a company through already tough times.”

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About AlphaStaff

AlphaStaff Group, Inc. a human resource outsourcing company, offers flexible employer solutions that control costs, address key compliance issues, and provide legal liability protection, while delivering world-class benefits. Through a complete portfolio of products and services, or via co-employment, AlphaStaff focuses on HR and technology integration, with payroll, benefits, tax, accounting, and risk management for mid-market companies. AlphaStaff is the solution for businesses seeking a passionate and trusted business partner with professional expertise in technology, law, finance, insurance and human resources.
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