Reductions in Force: Minimizing Liability for Layoffs, Crafting Non-Discriminatory Policies and Enforceable Release Agreements



Speaking Engagement

A struggling U.S. economy has made reductions in force (RIFs) routine for business this year. In August alone, employers let go over 118,000 workers during mass layoffs.

Employers find RIFs daunting, both in dealing with employee issues and protecting the company from liability. Many employers offer severance pay to workers in exchange for an agreement to release the company from legal claims, but courts are increasingly invalidating the agreements.

Attorneys representing employers must fully understand the factors that cause courts to invalidate the agreements in order to effectively advise employers on policies and procedures that will minimize the legal risks of conducting layoffs.

Listen as our authoritative panel offers their insights and best practices for planning and executing a RIF, including crafting enforceable employee releases to avoid or minimize employer liability.  

The panel included:

Robert W. Ashmore, Partner, Fisher & Phillips, Atlanta. He represents employers in labor and employment law and has extensive experience handling reductions in force. He is a frequent speaker on labor and employment law topics.

Sherrie Travis, Partner, Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon, Chicago. She advises employers on labor and employment issues, including reductions in force, employment and separation agreements and business restructuring. She frequently speaks on employment law topics.

David J. Murphy, Partner, Morrison Foerster, Palo Alto, Calif. He represents clients in all aspects of labor and employment law, including restructuring, outsourcing, wrongful termination and discrimination issues. He also works on international employment issues.

For more information, including the program outline

The panel reviewed these and other key questions:

  • What steps should an employer take during the planning and implementation of a RIF to protect the company from liability for discrimination?

  • What does the Age Discrimination in Employment Act require for employee releases?

  • What are some best practices for drafting employee releases that will stand up to court scrutiny?


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