Corporate Social Responsibility and RIFs

 While some employers may be able to assert the economic downturn as a legitimate business reason for an adverse employment action or as an unforeseeable business circumstance excusing notice under WARN, others may face a heightened expectation from juries and courts to "do the right thing."  Drug companies are often challenged to forego profits in the name of corporate social responsibility when faced with demand for drugs such as Tamiflu. Will there be a similar expectation for employers to maintain employment and benefits rather than add to the swell of unemployed or uninsured? If employers may be faced with a social responsibility standard, it is even more critical that an adverse action be defensible. Employers, and those implementing the decisions, must thoroughly understand the underlying business reasons. And employers who don't "share the pain," even if complying with the letter of law, may face an unfavorable reaction to their decisions.www.leadgood.org.

For more on the idea of corporate social responsibility and ethics in business leadership, see "Is Employment a Corporate Social Responsibility?" by Jason Meyer at