215-545-7676
1525 Locust St. 9th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
856-854-4000
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Moorestown, NJ 08057

Reduction in Workforce

A reduction in a company’s workforce is also referred to as “downsizing,” and businesses need to consider many important things before moving forward with a termination or layoff. In addition to the impact that workforce reductions can have on a person’s retirement plan, companies also must make sure that they are not violating any federal laws with their proposed terminations or layoffs. 

When an employer violates the rights of an employee with a workforce reduction, the employer can become liable for back pay and certain benefits. Any person who believes that his or her employer’s reduction in the workforce may be illegal should immediately retain legal counsel.

Attorney for Reduction in Workforce in Philadelphia, PA and New Jersey

If you think that your employer’s workforce reduction may have violated your rights under federal or state law, it is in your best interest to contact Console Mattiacci Law, LLC as soon as possible. Our firm represents clients in communities all over Philiadelphia and New Jersey.  Some of the counties we represent are Ocean County, Cape May County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, and Atlantic County. 

Our employment lawyers in Philadelphia and New Jersey can investigate how your employer handled its reduction in workforce and hold the employer accountable if the reduction was unlawful. 

Call 215-545-7676 today to have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, no-obligation consultation.


Pennsylvania Reduction in Workforce Information Center


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Workforce Reduction Process in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York

A company can decide to reduce its workforce for a variety of reasons, including declining sales, loss of major contracts, or unexpected expenses. When a business decides that it is justified in reducing its workforce, the company must decide which positions it will terminate. 

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act of 1988 requires employers with 100 or more employees to provide notice 60 days in advance of plant closings or mass layoffs. 

WARN notice is required when an employment site or one or more related facilities are shut down and results in an employment loss for 50 or more employees during any 30-day period, or a mass layoff not resulting from a plant closing, but which will result in an employment loss during any 30-day period for 500 or more employees, or for 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33 percent of the employer's active workforce. 

The New York State WARN Act requires employers with more than 50 workers to issue a WARN notice 90 days before closing a plant, and notification is also required when there is a layoff that affects 33 percent of the workforce (at least 25 workers) or 250 workers from a single employment site, or an employer moves operations to a location at least 50 miles away. 

The Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (NJ WARN Act) requires notice before the permanent or temporary transfer of a single establishment to another location that results in the termination of 50 or more full-time New Jersey-based employees. 

Some employers may utilize an employee evaluation process known as stack ranking, forced ranking, “rank and yank,” or a vitality curve in which workers are rated and ranked in comparison to co-workers. When a company decides to move forward with layoffs, it may conduct evaluations before or after informing the workers of the layoffs. Not all companies utilize employee evaluations. 

When a company decides to eliminate or restructure a position, a manager will generally have to conduct a meeting with the worker affected in which that employee is informed of the decision and usually the reasons for the decision. If a person is a member of a group in which other employees are being retained, the reason for their retention (such as seniority) may be articulated.


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Philadelphia Employee Rights During Reduction in Workforce

Under the WARN Act, employers with 100 or more employees that do not provide 60 days notice of plant closings or mass layoffs to employees can become liable for back pay and benefits, up to 60 days. Types of employees not protected by the WARN Act include workers who are on strike or have been locked out in a labor dispute, temporary workers, business partners and contract employees, and federal, state, or local government employees. 

In addition to the rights that workers are afforded under the federal and state WARN Acts, many other federal laws prohibit employers from multiple forms of discriminatory practices in workforce reduction. Most companies are aware of the potential for discrimination claims that can stem from attempts to reduce workforces, and try to limit the impact on employees from protected classes.

When a reduction in workforce appears to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, the move may be in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If the downsizing discriminates against qualified individuals with disabilities, it may be a violation of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) of 1990. Additionally, workforce reductions that largely impact employees 40 years of age and older may constitute discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 or the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA).


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Reduction in Workforce Resources in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York

Forced Ranking and Age-Related Employment Discrimination | American Bar Association (ABA) — View an ABA article discussing how forced ranking systems work. The article presents arguments from both critics and supporters of these systems. The article also touches on issues relating to discrimination and class action lawsuits stemming from forced ranking systems.

Workforce Restructuring Reductions in Force | United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) — The OPM is the federal agency that serves as the federal government’s chief human resources agency and personnel policy manager. On this section of the OPM website, you can learn more about Reduction in Force (RIF) regulations as they relate to federal employees. You can also download the Workforce Reshaping Operations Handbook.


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Find a Reduction in Workforce Lawyer in Philadelphia, PA and New Jersey

Do you believe that your employer’s recent workforce reduction may have been in violation of state or federal law? You will want to make sure you immediately contact Console Mattiacci Law, LLC.

Our Philadelphia employment law attorneys help individuals in communities throughout Bucks County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Chester County in Pennsylvania as well as Camden County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Ocean County, and Atlantic County in New Jersey. You can have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call 215-545-7676 or fill out an online contact form to receive a free initial consultation. 


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Our Office Locations

APennsylvania Office
1525 Locust St. 9th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215-545-7676
Fax: 215-545-8211
BNew Jersey Office
110 Marter Ave #502
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Phone: 856-854-4000
Fax: 856-854-4006

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