Lay Off Legal Disputes

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What is the Definition of a Lay Off?

A lay off is defined as a termination of an employment arrangement, usually temporary, for purposes of workforce reduction or company downsizing.  Lay offs, or “layoffs”, can often involve large sections of an entire company division, and may often occur in cycles. 

Sometimes, layoffs are temporary, meaning that the employee may return to work with the company after the allotted time.  Layoffs are a common practice for businesses; however, they need to ensure that the layoffs occur in a way that doesn’t violate the employee’s legal rights.  Lay off issues can make up a significant portion of state and local employment laws.

What are Some Common Lay Off Legal Disputes?

Legal disputes over lay offs can be common.  Disputes are especially common when the lay off occurs in a way that is sudden or in a way that is in conflict with the employee’s current employment contract.  Some common legal disputes associated with lay offs may include:

A common one is where an employee is fired right before they qualify for a certain retirement package.  These types of disputes may require an in-depth investigation into factors such as employment contract terms, routine company policies, and principles of “equity” or fairness.  Wrongful termination is also a major legal concept involved in lay off lawsuits.   

What if I Have a Legal Dispute Over Lay Off Issues?

Legal disputes over lay offs typically need the intervention of a government agency or employment board.  Once you file with such an agency, they will conduct an investigation into the matters.  They may be able to prescribe a legal remedy, such as a damages award, or a reinstatement to your previous position.

If the agency is unable to remedy the situation, you may need to file a lawsuit.  In any event, be sure to keep and records, documents, and statements that might be related to your claim- you’ll be needing these for court records and evidence.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Lay Off Legal Disputes?

Disputes over lay offs or any other employment matters are best handled by an attorney.  You may need to hire a lawyer for help if you believe that you were laid off in a manner that was illegal or in violation of a contract.  Your lawyer will be able to advise you of your rights under the law, and can represent you if you need to attend court hearings. 

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Last Modified: 05-06-2013 04:28 PM PDT

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