A reduction in force, also known as RIF actions, refers to when an employer terminates an employee because of a business reason such as the employee’s position being eliminated, budgetary concerns, or to address other business needs. RIF actions may affect a large group of employees or only one employee might be affected. A RIF often comes with many uncertainties for employees.
Employees will face uncertainty about their future employment, financial situation, ability to continue medical coverage, and the loss of other benefits. Below are important considerations for employers when they need to take RIF action.
It is important for employers embarking on RIF actions to use objective and measurable criteria as much as possible when determining which employees to lay off, as well as the number of employees to let go. If an employee belongs to a union, other criteria such as seniority may be used. If an employee believes he or she is being laid off because of unlawful discrimination or retaliation, they may report the employer to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) or to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Although it should be obvious, a RIF must comply with the applicable law. Under Ohio’s at-will employment doctrine, an employee can be terminated with or without notice and with or without cause, subject to a few exceptions. Many employers and employees are unaware that the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) outlines certain requirements and notices that must be provided for a lay-off. This includes providing employees affected by the action with 60 days’ written notice when more than 50 employees are affected. An employment lawyer can review your situation to determine if the employer is in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.
It is a sad reality of business, but sometimes RIF actions are necessary. When they are, it is important that they are done properly and comply with the law. When you need help with your RIF action, call our Columbus employment lawyers at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC. We can help you sort things out and advise on the best way to proceed if you are subject to a RIF. Call or contact us online today to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys and to learn how we can help.
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