The COVID-19 Pandemic is affecting the American economy and employers incredibly negatively. Close to 30 million Americans have now been laid off from their jobs since Mar. 26, 2020. The fact of the matter is for those employees and employers still working now, the numbers of people who are laid off is going to increase as businesses struggle to stay open with reduced revenue and continued overhead. One the primary way businesses reduce overhead is by laying off employees. Employee layoffs at American businesses will most likely continue in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Laying Off Employee Best Strategies During These Tough Times
Its very apparent that the nations economy and its accompanying employment picture will get worse before it improves. This impending fact means you may be required to face the music and layoff employees at your business. No matter when it happens or why it has to happen, employee layoffs are tough for both employees and employers. This is particularly true when the cause of the layoffs is totally removed from your ability to do anything about.
Regardless of the reason why or when an employer is required to layoff its employees, it is highly critical to complete the process the best way possible, very professionally, as well as complying with layoff legal required by law.
Consider Other Layoff Option Strategies
The expedient way to reduce business costs is to layoff employees. Employee layoffs by far have the highest pain point for the business owner and the employee. Prior to moving forward with layoffs, review other layoff actions instead. Can your business do any of the following instead of laying off its staff:
- Reduce hours of employees?
- Cut out overtime entirely or reduce it?
- Put a freeze on all employee bonuses and/or raises
- Instead of laying off staff do a company-wide furlough alternatively?
A staff layoff will reduce your expenses far better, but by selecting one of the listed options, it may turn out far better for your business in the long run. Your business will reduce business costs significantly and retain company staff. The net benefit for your business will be more loyal indebted staff due to the fact your were able to keep their employment going, which in turn will build stronger affinity to your business and its overall brand name.
Create Well Thought-Out Layoff Strategic Plan
It may be that you figure out the only steps you can take is execute an employee layoff. Be sure to set aside time and develop a complete layoff strategy. Take into account both the legal requirements that must be met when executing your company’s employee layoff and the best way to inform them about the layoff itself.
Inspect Your Company’s Staff for Specific Groups of Legally Protected Employees Prior to Execution of the Layoff
It is simple to see your company as neutral when you are selecting the staff member that are going to be laid off, be certain your layoff choices do not end up firing employees in larger amounts of employees in legally protected classes. Protected employee classes are as follows:
- Minority ethnic groups
- Employees with disabilities
- Employees 40 years or older
For instance, if it appears proportionately that less male employees are being laid off that female employees, your company needs to take action beforehand that the layoffs do not turn out that way. Check your list of employee layoffs with its layoff percentages to be certain your company is inline before it communicates the layoffs to all the company employees.
When you are executing your company-wide layoff if your layoff percentage of women are the same as the percentage of women employed by your business then your probably fine. For example, if your company staff is made up of 34% women and your layoff percentage for women is within 2 to 3% either way of 34%, you can prove your business is not laying a greater percentage of women.
However, mathematically if your company is laying off more women than men from a total percentage standpoint, you may have a legal issue. If that is the case, you may be in exposing yourself to an equal employment opportunity discrimination lawsuit. The smart action to take to prevent a lawsuit like that from happening is to meet with a lawyer that specializes in employment law and review your layoff plan before you execute it and layoff people and get sued.