Each year in United States, many companies go through the restructuring process in an effort to save money or reorganize teams.
While corporate restructuring and downsizing are quite common, some employers use them as a cover to illegally fire certain groups of employees. It is illegal for employers to fire employees for a discriminatory reasons – yet it is commonly done during restructuring or downsizing.
Employees may or may not be aware of what is happening.
According to the white paper, Downsizing And Discrimination: An Illegal Combination, companies may offer full-time workers lowball severance packages. Most people are happy to take the money since they don’t know when they might get their next job.
But what happens when you have a sneaking suspicion that your company used downsizing as an excuse to fire you for another reason? Do you take the severance package or do you choose do something about it?
California is an at-will employment state, meaning employers can fire employees for any reason – except if that reason is discriminatory in nature. However, employers may use a company reorganization as a cover to fire an employee for the following reasons:
- National origin
- Medical condition
- Association with a disabled worker or family member
- Sexual orientation
Did your employer illegally fire you during a reorganization?
You know you are model employee and all your reviews were excellent at this company. You were the most qualified person on the team and less qualified people got to keep their jobs. What happened? Furthermore, how do you really know if your employer used the downsizing as an excuse to clean house?
While there may be some pressure to “just get the process over with” and take the severance package, it is important to take time to think through the best course of action. This is a pivotal time and signing away your rights for short-term gain, could have negative implications for years to come.
What are some signs of wrongful termination during downsizing or a company reorganization? Read more in our subsequent blog post: 5 Commonly Discriminated Against Employees.
If you wish to speak to one of our attorneys in a no-cost consultation, please call us at 213-550-5503.