Mass Layoffs

Understanding Your Rights as an Employee

photoIn our turbulent economy, employers are frequently reducing their workforces and eliminating jobs to save money. Whether they call it a job elimination, job consolidation, downsizing, site closing or something else, the result can be extremely sudden and harsh. Unexpectedly losing your job can have a severe negative economic and emotional impact, not just on you but on your entire family.

Legal Protection Against Wrongful Termination

Too often, employers use mass layoffs and reductions in force (RIFs) as excuses to cover up illegal employment decisions, hoping nobody will realize (let alone prove) why they selected a particular employee to lose his or her job. But regardless of whether you were fired or laid off, it is a violation of your employment law rights if your employer terminated your employment due to your age, color, disability, marital status, pregnancy, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran or military status or for another legally prohibited reason.

If you have been laid off or downsized, or if your job was eliminated as part of a reduction in force and you believe the reason the employer selected you was discriminatory, retaliatory or constituted another form of wrongful discharge, you may have legal options. The employment lawyers of Rabner Allcorn Baumgart & Ben-Asher can explain your legal rights and help you determine whether you have a legal claim. Please contact us today at (973) 744-4000 to find out more.

Severance Negotiations

Many employers have severance policies or practices that require them to pay money to employees who they laid off, especially if the layoff occurred during a reduction in force. Other employees may be entitled to severance pay if they lose their jobs during a mass layoff based on language in their individual employment contracts. Either way, it often is possible to negotiate additional severance, or to improve the terms of the severance offer you have received.

Even employers that do not have severance plans might be willing to negotiate a settlement for an employee who loses his job through no fault of his own, especially if the employee has a discrimination, retaliation or another employment law claim. For more information, please see our severance negotiations page.

The WARN Act

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires larger companies in both New Jersey and New York to provide employees at least 60 days' advance notice of an upcoming mass layoff or plant closing. Similarly, under the New York State WARN Act, larger companies must give their employees at least 90 days' advance notice before a mass layoff or plant closing.

Contact an Experienced Employment Lawyer

Please contact us today if you have been adversely impacted by a reduction in force and your employer did not provide the required notice and you would like to learn more about your legal rights. We will listen carefully to the facts, explain your legal rights and help you understand your options before helping you decide the best course of action. Our telephone number is (973) 744-4000 in New Jersey.