Businesses sometimes have to make difficult decisions related to staff members. Letting a worker go will often lead to an emotional conversation and short-term economic consequences for the employee.
Some of these decisions occur on an individual basis, but occasionally, companies have to make choices that affect numerous workers at once. Market contractions and other operational challenges might lead to a business choosing to lay off numerous employees at once. Mass layoffs often come with more economic challenges for the affected workers, as the local market will have a glut of available labor.
Just like individual firings, those layoffs could actually be a way for a company to hide what is actually a wrongful termination.
Businesses can target one person or a group wrongfully
Layoffs with multiple affected people are an excellent opportunity for a company to hide what would otherwise blatantly be a wrongful termination case. The company might include a specific individual in the layoff because that worker reported harassment or engaged in other protected workplace activities.
Companies might also target an entire group, effectively discriminating against workers of a certain race or over a specific age while deciding who gets laid off and who keeps their job. The timing of a layoff decision and the overall makeup of the group of workers laid off can provide clues for those who suspect a layoff may have been wrongful termination.
Recognizing a layoff as a possible wrongful termination could help an individual employee or a group of workers fight back against a company decision that may have violated their rights.