When the economy stalls or takes a turn downward, layoffs generally aren’t far behind. There are instances, however, when layoffs are deemed a form of discrimination. While every situation is unique and must be evaluated in accordance with the circumstances involved, being let go by one’s employer is sometimes identified as unlawful discrimination. Employees who believe they’ve been laid off unfairly should consult with an experienced California discrimination attorney.
Employers have the right to lay off an employee or otherwise terminate their employment in relation to inferior job performance, but the matter does not end here. Employers often need to make critical financial decisions that are designed to support economic growth, and this can include lawful layoffs that are based on restructuring the company or on reducing the workforce.
Some employers, however, are not above laying employees off for reasons that are not within their legal rights while passing their actions off as an attempt to cut costs or as a means of addressing employee misconduct or underperformance.
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) makes it unlawful for employers to lay off employees based on their inclusion in a protected class that addresses any of the following:
There are also federal protections in place, and both state and federal laws prohibit laying off employees in retaliation for complaining about discrimination or harassment on the job. It can be very challenging to link a large-scale layoff directly to claims of personal discrimination or retaliation, which makes working with a seasoned discrimination attorney critical.
There are times when layoffs make economic sense for employers and have nothing to do with discrimination. These layoffs are guided by rules and restrictions of their own. The primary reasons for layoffs include all the following:
When an employer lays one or two employees off, and the employees happen to belong to a protected class, the matter of discrimination is a natural concern. When employers, however, use mass layoffs to mask the few that are based on discrimination, the matter becomes more legally challenging.
The distinguished California discrimination attorneys at Minnis & Smallets have the legal skill, experience, and drive to skillfully defend our clients’ rights – in pursuit of advantageous claim outcomes. Learn more by contacting us today.
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