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Reduction in Force (RIF), Mass Layoff, Site or Branch Closing

Have you been illegitimately laid off?

There are times when there is a valid business reason for a company to reduce its staff and when that occurs, it is a proper basis for discharging employees and unfortunately, on occasion, a great number of employees. This is called a Reduction in Force (RIF).

Although the concept of a RIF is proper, there are times when an employer may illegitimately include within layoffs certain employees for reasons that are not legitimate or appropriate, but rather as a means for discriminating against certain protected employees, thereby using the veil of a RIF to camouflage prohibited discriminatory terminations.

By way of example, we have sometimes found that long-standing employees of protected status, such as older employees or minority employees or female employees, are improperly incorporated as part of the group that is designated for termination for legitimate reasons in the reduction.

All too frequently, we are contacted by employees who are improperly included in a legitimately terminated group in a reduction. It is for this reason that it becomes important to carefully consider those who are included within the reduction. Therefore, it is essential that we investigate and review RIF terminations to make certain that the employees were properly included within the RIF, and were not instead terminated because of their age, their color, their national origin, their disability, or because of their gender.

There are also situations in which the RIF may have a disproportionate effect on a protected class and unfairly impact protected employees as a group. Whether or not the employer intended such a result is usually irrelevant. If, for example, the composition of the employer’s workforce reduction creates an objectively strong inference that the RIF was inflicted upon the workforce as a means of discriminating against certain protected individuals based on a pretext that it was a legitimate reduction in force.

New York Employment Lawyers Offer Our Support

If you were laid off or will be laid off because of a RIF or site closing, and you have a reasonable basis for questioning the legitimacy of your employer’s selection of employees for termination, you may wish to seek counsel from an attorney. We will be pleased to meet with you to discuss your concerns.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free initial interview, at which time we will be able to determine whether we believe we can help you and you will have the opportunity to decide whether you wish to invite us to do so.