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Layoff decisions are difficult but sometimes necessary

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2021 | Business Law |

Though all business owners in Michigan and beyond hope that they will see success throughout the years, there may be times when owners have to make tough decisions for financial reasons. For example, if a business lands on hard times, it may be necessary for owners to make cutbacks, which could include decreasing their workforce. If this happens, a layoff may need to occur, and it is important that employers understand what this means.

Having to lay off employees is different than firing them, and many employers may find layoffs more difficult than firing an employee. Letting workers go during a layoff typically means that the decision does not have much to do with the workers’ skills, abilities or dedication to the job. The decisions often hinge on where the company needs to make cutbacks the most. When a worker is fired, it commonly happens due to poor job performance, excessive absences or tardiness, or other issues that do not benefit the company.

If an employer does need to make layoffs, it is important to take certain details into consideration, including:

  • Whether severance packages will be offered to the employees being laid off
  • Whether the employees will be paid for unused vacation or sick days
  • Whether the employer could help the employees find a new position, such as by writing letters of recommendation

It is also important that Michigan employers understand the specific legal requirements of laying off employees. No employer wants to end up sued for wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation or other issue that a worker may believe played a role in the layoff decision. Handling these matters delicately could better ensure that everyone walks away accepting a difficult situation as well as possible.


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