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Employment Law: Layoffs and Ageism

A Fortune 500 employer wishes to lay off 25% of its workforce due to rapidly declining sales. The employees vary in age and length of service, with half of the employees being above the age of 40 and half being below the age of 40. Also, half of the employees have been with the employer in excess of 10 years. What legal consideration(s) must the employer assess before engaging in this reduction-in-force?

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The main factor in layoffs is that management has to ensure the employees chosen to layoff are not for discriminatory reasons. Management cannot choose to lay off 25% of its workforce based upon the oldest workers in the employee population, nor can it choose to lay off all of the women or men in the company, to make up the 25% of layoffs. The main point in layoffs is that the criteria chosen to lay employees off cannot be discriminatory. If an employee can prove that he or ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the legal considerations involved in laying off a percentage of the workforce based on age. A thorough discussion is provided.