What’s the Alternative?

By Bill Wright FEMA Employees sued when FEMA closed its Puerto Rico-based call center. The call center was originally a “temporary” center set up to address calls from Spanish-speaking victims of a hurricane. The leased facility was inadequate for a permanent call center; working there posed employee health and safety risks. FEMA let the lease […]

IBM Avoids Liability for “Inartful” HR IM

By Bill Wright HR professionals slip into jargon and euphemisms, like everyone else. Also, like everyone else, HR professionals think their instant messages are too ephemeral to become evidence in a discrimination suit. Not so. The courts recently had to address whether an exchange of instant messages between HR professionals about a reduction in force […]

WARNing: Yard and Annex are the same worksite

By Bill Wright When planning a reduction in force, employers always have to consider the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“the WARN Act”). To determine whether you have to give WARN notice of a mass layoff, you have to determine whether the workers affected are at one or more sites of employment. Recently, a […]

Succession Planning at Its Worst

By Karla Sanchez Citing an “informal succession plan” doesn’t legitimize age-based layoff decisions. In Sharp v. Aker Plant Services Group, Inc., No. 11-5419 (6th Cir. Aug. 9, 2013), the employer selected employees for layoff in response to a business downturn. When the plaintiff asked the manager why he had been selected for layoff instead of […]