Layoffs, Downsizing, and Outsourcing… What Employees Should Know

April 11th, 2022

employee layoffs downsizing outsourcing halunenlaw.comWith no end in sight to the global pandemic, many companies and especially large corporations are preparing for the new workplace to take hold and are rethinking the way they do business. Some of the changes are welcomed by the employees, for example, a flexible schedule, the ability to work from home, less travel, and a limited commute. But unfortunately, big corporations are rethinking the way they do business by initiating drastic restructuring of its personnel.

Since the start of the global pandemic, many large corporations have drastically restructured their day-to-day business as well as the personnel. And although some of the companies are undergoing cost-cutting initiatives as a result of a business downturn, most large corporations, especially those that have benefited from the pandemic and significantly increased their revenues,[1] are now finding more ways to save money, often at the expense of their employees’ jobs.

You may have heard of Vishal Garg, the CEO of a mortgage company, who laid off 900 employees over a Zoom call. Or the P&O Ferries Executive who announced via Zoom that the company planned on replacing 800 employees with cheaper agency workers. On its face, it may seem that the company is making a business decision and there is nothing you can do about losing your job if you are laid off in this manner. But, it is crucial to remember, that these “legitimate business reasons” for firing employees often mask the wrongful terminations of employees of marginalized identities and troublemakers/whistleblowers.

When you find yourself in a situation where your employer implements significant layoffs, what can you do to ensure that your rights are protected? Here are some questions to consider:

    • Is it possible that you were laid off while other employees of a different race, gender, religion, age, or disability status got to keep their jobs?
    • Have you recently filed for or received workers’ compensation, or protections under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or requested a reasonable accommodation due to a disability?
    • Have you recently reported any violations of law to your employer?
    • Have you recently reported discrimination in the workplace, even if the discrimination was not directed at you?
    • Are you a member of a Union and was the Union Agreement followed per layoff terms?
    • Do you have a contract that provides for the terms of your layoff or that allows for-cause terminations only?
    • Are you over 40? Did your employer provide you with all the necessary documents per the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)? See Laid Off Over 40? You Have Unique Rights.

Being laid off is extremely stressful. The experienced and skilled attorneys at Halunen Law stand at the ready and are committed to advising employees about their rights and helping you decide what to do. To consult with an attorney about your rights, please contact us today.


An employment attorney with Halunen Law, Maria Shatonova works closely with her colleagues and shares their deep commitment to seek justice for clients who have experienced wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual assault or harassment, or other illegal workplace actions.


Image Credit: Faizal Ramli  / Shutterstock


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