Layoff or Reduction-in-Forces: What Does Each Mean for You?
Layoff, reduction-in-forces (RIF), downsizing: Employers use these terms all the time to let employees go, but no matter how they phrase it, the bottom line is that you are out of a job.
Did Your Employer Perform the Layoff or RIF Illegally?However, while the end result of each of these actions is always the same, what terminology your employer uses to let you go determines how you should proceed afterward. Unless you have a contract stating otherwise, your employment is most likely at-will, meaning that your employer has the right to fire you at any time and without reason. On the same token, you are allowed to quit whenever you want. Thanks to at-will employment, layoffs and RIFs are perfectly legal--that is, so long as they are done without discrimination.
While California employers are allowed to hire and fire at-will, they cannot choose who they layoff based on age, gender, race, or any other characteristic protected under federal and state antidiscrimination laws. If you feel that you are others were targeted because of your membership in minority class, it is important that you consult with a California employment discrimination attorney right away. At Garcia & Gurney, ALC, our Pleasanton attorneys will review the circumstances leading up to the company's layoffs or RIF, look into who was let go and who was not, and help you determine if you were in fact discriminated against.
Notice of Layoffs and RIFsThough it can be frustrating to be laid off without any prior notice, there is likely nothing that you can do about it. In most cases, California employers are not required to give their employees prior notice of layoffs, downsizing, or reduction-in-forces. However, if the employer has 100 or more employees, they are required to give workers a 60-day advance notice of mass layoffs. If you were part of a sudden mass layoff--sudden meaning that you did not have the requisite 60-day notice--contact a California employment attorney.