Reductions in Force Reductions in force (RIF) are difficult for all parties involved, including employees who are getting laid off, those being retained and, last but not least, the people who have to carry out the RIF. Not only is it difficult to let employees go, but it is also stressful trying to learn and follow all of the proper procedures for doing so. Let’s start by defining what a Reduction in Force entails. ● A reduction in force occurs when cuts are required to achieve cost savings, and these savings are achieved by reducing payroll costs. Unlike a furlough or a layoff, however, which are typically temporary cuts, a reduction in force is a permanent termination. While some employers may use the term “layoff” for such a permanent situation, these cases are actually RIFs. Now let’s examine what legal documents and acts you may want to be familiar with if you need to carry out a RIF. 1. 1998 WARN Notice: Congress passed the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act in 1998 to help ensure that workers are given enough time to prepare for job transitions before large scale RIFs occur. This act applies if you are a business with 100 or more full-time employees, and you are going to be engaging in “plant-closings” or “mass layoffs.” 2. Discrimination Laws: These laws include federal laws and state laws that vary between states, but generally prohibit laying off workers as a result of discrimination based on sex, gender, age, religion or national origin. If your RIF has a disproportionate impact on one of these classes, then you may be liable for claims of discrimination from your terminated employees. 3. Older Worker Benefit Protection Act: This act ensures that older workers aren’t pressured to waive their rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which essentially deals with pressuring older workers to retire, and with fair severance pay. There are several more laws you will have to be aware of, including union contracts, when you are terminating large numbers of employees, but knowing these will not make the situation emotionally easier for you or your employees. Here are a few tips for how to handle RIFs from a personal side. ● Make sure you are prepared. You should rehearse and review your script thoroughly when planning a RIF before speaking to your employees, and allow the discussion to flow naturally once you complete it. The meeting should be structured, you should have rehearsed what you are going to say, prepared for potential reactions, and collected all relevant information about and for your employee.
● Maintain professionalism. Make sure you treat your employees professionally, and with dignity and respect throughout your conversation, no matter how emotional they may become. ● Direct the discussion. You should be in control of the conversation, and make sure you pay attention to employee reactions and moods. Keep the conversation moving in a productive direction. This also includes preparing the environment. Make sure there is a box of Kleenex, a telephone, a door that closes, and water before you begin. Please see Careerminds’ information on reductions in force to see how you can ensure a transition that is as smooth as possible. Terminating employees isn’t easy for either party, but with the proper preparation, conversations can be productive and result in a good grasp of the situation for all parties involved. Summary A reduction in force occurs when a business must lay off a number of employees permanently to cut payroll costs and save money. There are many laws to be familiar and compliant with, including discrimination laws, the WARN Act, and union contracts. Employers should also maintain control of the conversation when terminating employees and make sure they are adequately prepared ahead of time. Company Bio Outplacement programs have not evolved as quickly as technology has, meaning they can be a drain on your company and inhibit former employees from finding new placements. Careerminds develops strategic, scalable outplacement solutions that are based on technology. They focus on high-touch, high-tech blend career transition assistance and education to help laid off workers find comparable positions quickly. Clients include small start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. Sources: 1. CareerMinds. “Reductions in Force.” 28 Apr. 2014. http://careerminds.com/outplacement/reduction-in-force/. 2. Carson, Matthew J., Cully, Sally Rodgers. “Understanding Reduction in Force for the Employer.” 28 Apr. 2014. http://www.rumberger.com/?t=11&la=720&format=xml 3. Office of Personnel Management. “Workforce Restructuring.” 28 Apr. 2014. https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/reductionsin-force/ 4. Society for Human Resource Management. “Reduction in Force: Can you explain the difference between a furlough, a layoff and a reduction in force?” 28 Apr. 2014. http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/hrqa/pages/furloughlayoffreductioninforce.as px
Published on May 7, 2014
Published on May 7, 2014
http://careerminds.com/ | A reduction in force occurs when a business must lay off a number of employees permanently to cut payroll costs an...