You have always received excellent ratings on your performance reviews. Your years of service don’t seem to matter. You lose your job in a corporate downsizing. It doesn’t seem right. Can it be legal? To find out, contact the employment law attorneys at Huizenga & Hergt, P.C., for a consultation.
Many industries today are shrinking their workforce for a variety of reasons. The company may not be profitable and growing; it may be in bankruptcy. The workforce in the United States may be getting smaller because the company is outsourcing work to other companies or transferring work to other countries. The company may have decided it would look more profitable to investors and shareholders, increasing its stock price, if it announced it was slimming down its work force.
Whatever the reason, many companies are reducing their workforce and getting rid of many valuable, loyal, hardworking, long term employees who are not ready to retire and will have a difficult time finding work in their field at the same level of responsibility and compensation.
Because it is happening everywhere to many people, employees think it must be legal, and there is nothing they can do about it. They don’t seek out an employment law attorney because they don’t know one and never thought they would ever need one. Most people think employees who retain employment law attorneys deserve to be terminated because they did not do a good job or that there was some other legitimate reason for termination. When it happens to them, especially in a reduction in force situation, they realize this is not the case.
It is important to remember that although employers can reduce the work force, they cannot discriminate against employees on account of age, race, sex, national origin and other protected categories. Employers often engage in employment and age discrimination when they reduce the workforce by retaining younger less qualified employees to do the remaining work and terminating older employees who have been there for many years.
Employers count on the fact that most employees do nothing, never talk to an employment law attorney and just accept whatever is offered. They know that no matter how unfair, blatant and obvious the discrimination is, most employees will not challenge the decision to terminate their employment. They know they can violate the law and get away with it because most people will not sue.
We don’t encourage employees to sue if it does not appear discrimination has occurred; but if it has, we do. Our employment law attorneys have successfully represented many employees for more than 30 years who have been discriminated against in a reduction of the work force. Based on that experience, we can evaluate each case and advise our clients accordingly. It is always advisable to consult with an attorney if you have lost your job because of a reduction in the workforce. This is particularly true if you are asked to sign a release or waiver of your rights as further explained elsewhere on our website.
For high quality legal representation and responsive client service, contact the employment law attorneys at Huizenga & Hergt, P.C., today.
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