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Is it possible for me to fight my layoff?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Employment Law |

Although they hope it never happens to them, Portlanders probably realize that, at most companies, layoffs are part of the operation of the business.

From time to time, companies may for a number of reasons choose to eliminate positions even if management does not really want to do so.

Still while it is different from being singled out for termination, the end result of a layoff is the same for an employee. The employee is left without the income from their job and may struggle to explain an employment gap to their new employer.

As hard as it is on employees, companies do have the right to lay people off.

However, an Oregon company can still run afoul of the law when they do so. Oregon employers must follow all applicable state and federal laws if they need to reduce their workforce.

For example, it would be flagrantly wrong if the company were to lay off only people over 55, since that would be age discrimination.

Employers must base layoff decisions, like all their decisions, on non-discriminatory grounds.

But their obligations go further. The employer must ensure that their layoff does not disproportionately affect a protected group. Otherwise, the layoff is still discriminatory.

For example, it may seem fair to decide on job cuts based on seniority. Those who have been at the company longer would get to keep their jobs.

However, if the net result is that 70% of the people cut are biologically female but biological females make up only 30% of the company’s payroll, the employer will need to re-evaluate how they are organizing the layoff if it wants to avoid valid legal claims.

Other state and federal laws may be in play during a layoff.

Portland area employees facing layoffs should evaluate their options

Before signing any severance agreement, an employee on the receiving end of a layoff notice should make sure they understand their legal options and alternatives.

At a minimum, there may be a way the employee can get through a bad situation with minimal financial harm.



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