Layoffs

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    “Qualifying events” are events that cause an individual to lose his or her group health coverage and trigger a plan’s COBRA obligations. The type of qualifying event determines who the qualified beneficiaries are for that event and the period of time that a plan must offer continuation coverage. For more information on this...

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    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (whose rulings apply to all Michigan employers) recently ruled that an employee who was allegedly laid off while she was on leave covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was entitled to a jury trial because the employer's lack of written policies left unresolved questions about her status...
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    When Hensley & Company, a Phoenix beverage distributor, implemented a reduction in force (RIF) in 2011, it offered severance to the affected employees based on their length of service. When longtime employee Mark Wynn filed a claim for unemployment benefits despite his receipt of a year's base pay as severance, Hensley fought the claim all...
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    As a result of the recent recession, many companies have been faced with difficult economic decisions. Options may include closing certain facilities or engaging in a workforce reduction. Employers that have 100 or more employees and plan to close a plant, shut down an operation, or lay off workers should be aware of the Worker Adjustment and...
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    When asked to define "wages," most people think of the weekly or biweekly paycheck an employee receives based on an hourly rate of pay or an annual salary. The Massachusetts Wage Act (Mass. Gen. L. ch. 149, § 148) defines how employers must pay their employees and the penalties for state wage law violations, but fails to define what...
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    An employer failed to take its own internal grievance and investigation procedures seriously. A terminated employee used the employer's lapse as evidence of retaliation. Facts Tony Sayger, a Caucasian man, started working for Riceland Foods as a maintenance worker in 1999. In 2009, while working in the warehousing, packaging, and shipping (WPS...
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    The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to Arkansas employers) recently held that a Caucasian employee could bring claim against his employer for a supervisor's derogatory remarks about African-American coworkers. Facts Tony Sayger, a Caucasian male, was hired in 1999 as a maintenance worker in the Riceland Foods rice...
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    In a recent wrongful termination case, the jury awarded a former employee three years of back pay even though he had obtained new employment soon after his termination. The appellate court upheld the award, finding that his back-pay claim didn't need to be reduced because the jury could reasonably conclude that the new employment was inferior to...
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    As a result of the recent recession, many companies have been faced with difficult economic decisions. Options may include closing certain facilities or engaging in a workforce reduction. Employers that have 100 or more employees and plan to close a plant, shut down an operation, or lay off workers should be aware of the Worker Adjustment and...
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    Avoiding liability under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) is no easy task. One particularly thorny challenge is determining whether an anticipated reduction in force (RIF) will be a "mass layoff" that triggers WARN Act obligations. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans (whose decisions apply to all...
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