S. Amir Kohan

What steps should be taken in conducting a layoff?

These steps should be taken in conducting a layoff:

  1. Select employees for layoff using seniority, performance, job classification, location, or skill.
  2. Ensure selected employees do not affect a protected class to avoid adverse or disparate impact.
  3. Review compliance with federal and state WARN Act regulations, which require employers to provide 60 days’ notice to affected employees while specifying whether the reduction in force is permanent or for a specific amount of time.
  4. Review compliance with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act that provides workers over the age of 40 the opportunity to review any severance agreements that require their waiver of discrimination claims.
    1. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)  allows a consideration period of 21 days if only one older worker is being separated and 45 days when two or more older workers are being separated. These employees also must receive a revocation period of seven days after signing the agreement. Additionally, they must be informed of the positions and ages of other employees affected by the layoffs so that they can assess whether or not they feel age discrimination has taken place.

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