A company may decide to fundamentally restructure its operations, divisions or business units for a variety of reasons, including as a response to marketplace conditions or as a way to maintain its competitive edge. Such decisions can have both business and legal implications, particularly when it comes to fundamental changes in workforce structure and numbers.
Depending upon a company’s size, industry, number of impacted employees and other factors, employers may be required under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act), or other applicable state and local laws, to give notice to employees of expected mass layoffs and to report these layoffs to certain state and/or federal agencies. Additionally, Companies are subject to requirements beyond WARN and state laws when considering employee losses or layoffs. Employers must also consider issues related to discrimination claims and severance pay, among others.
The firm assists employers undergoing reductions in force and other changes to its employment structures and counsels clients on the legal risks that accompany reductions in force. This can include designing strategies and procedures for the reduction in force process and identifying proper criteria on which to make reduction in force decisions. The firm can advise clients on how to provide proper notice to employees in compliance with the WARN Act and how to conduct follow-up activities, such as drafting and offering severance packages, subject to the requirements under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA).
The firm obtained summary judgment for our client in an age discrimination reduction in force matter. Rosenblatt v. 7-Eleven, Inc. [PDF – 148 KB], 2007 WL 2187252 (N.D. Tex. 2009).
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