RIF Plans

Employees who are let go into an uncertain job market may challenge terminations in the form of discrimination, whistle-blower, breach of contract and other claims.  Accordingly, reductions in force need to be well thought-out and defensible.

First and foremost, employers need a documented RIF Plan which should include:

  • the business justification for the lay-off.  Employers can look to forecasts, sales figures, overstaffing, technical changes, etc. to provide a business reason for a reduction.
  • other alternatives to achieve the goals of the reduction vs. the cost of the RIF.  Employers who can demonstrate that they explored other options will fair better in litigation and public relations.
  • objective criteria to detemine what jobs will be eliminated.  Employers should be able to provide a job analysis as to why positions were eliminated.
  • criteria for selction.  Such factors can include: sales, evaluations, discipline, customer relations, coworker interactions, ability to manage, and seniority. 
  • evaluation of employees against selection criteria.
  • ranking of employees/value to the performance of work remaining after the RIF.  What special skills and knowledge to the remaining employees have?
  • review of rankings to eliminate unfair or systemic biases
  • statistical analysis of the impact of the RIF on protected classifications.
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