Frantic Fridays

TGIF? Not anymore.  For many employers, the end of the week means another round of frantic employee terminations.  Even in the face of sudden economic downturn, reductions should not be rushed.  Employers need a game plan for the implementation of a reduction of force.

  • How will the employer notify employees?  Individually? In a group? For one multi-state RIF, a major employer communicated the lay-offs via email, followed by in-person meetings.
  • The employer needs to be prepared with Separation Agreements and General Releases if applicable.
  • Employees need to be provided with information regarding benefit continuation.
  • In some states (such as California) employees must receive their final pay and accrued vacation pay at the time of termination.  In other states, such payments can be made in the next pay period.
  • Employees should return company property (keys, badges, cell phones, blackberrys, laptops) before leaving.
  • Arrangements should be made for personal property (provide the employee with a means of carrying personal items or make arrangements for pick up or delivery).
  • The employer must make sure that its Interactive Systems are secure.  The employer should cut off an employee's access to its computer systems before communicating a termination.  Savvy employees can cause significant and wide-reaching damage in a matter of minutes.
  • Likewise, the company should make sure its physical premises are secure.  Employers should advise receptionists or security of any entry or visitation restrictions on existing employees.
  • Employers should be prepared for media inquiries.  Public relations are key to a survival of a RIF in the public eye.
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