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On the Firing Line – Employers Must Take Steps to Protect Themselves During Workforce Reductions

February 16, 2009

Kevin Maltby says he’s been getting a number of phone calls lately from individuals who have found themselves on the wrong end of workforce-reduction measures taken in response to worsening economic conditions.

Generally, these are people who feel they’ve been wronged, said Maltby, a litigator and employment-law specialist with the Springfield-based firm Bacon Wilson, who told BusinessWest that, while the words and phrases used by the callers vary, what he hears most often is “this isn’t fair,” “this isn’t right,” or something to that effect.

What Maltby tells these callers is that ‘fair’ is a relative term, and that even if a layoff falls into the realm of unfair — at least in the eyes of the terminated employee — it doesn’t necessarily enter the category of illegal, which is another story altogether.

“In almost all these cases, the people felt that what was happening didn’t feel right and didn’t sound right to them, but the employer has the right to do it,” said Maltby, referring specifically to the fact that, in Massachusetts, all employment relationships are ‘at will,’ which means, essentially, that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship whenever they choose.

You may read more at the link below.

by: George O’Brien

February 16, 2009

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