Sometimes, it is necessary for a company to reduce its workforce. Often, this is because the company is no longer profitable. Sometimes, a workforce must be reduced temporarily. In other cases, it must be reduced permanently. Although the terms “reduction in force” and “layoff” are frequently used synonymously, they are actually two distinct actions.
A reduction in force (RIF) is the permanent termination of employees due to restructuring, the elimination of their department, or a lack of funding or available work to support those employees. A layoff, on the other hand, technically means that the termination is only temporary. However, it has come to mean a permanent termination in recent years, and in many cases employers use it to mean exactly that.
Unemployment Benefits and Severance Pay After an RIF or Layoff
Individuals who lose their jobs to RIF and layoffs are entitled to collect unemployment benefits. These benefits come from a state insurance program that exists to protect individuals who become unemployed through no fault of their own from financial difficulty. You cannot apply for unemployment benefits before your position is terminated.
If your employment contract included a severance pay clause, you are entitled to receive this payment. Do not allow your employer to terminate your position without paying you the money you are entitled to receive.
When You Need a Lawyer for a Layoff in New Jersey
Layoffs and reduction in force actions are completely legal. In most cases, they are not done to target individual employees or specific groups, but to help a company remain profitable. However, in some cases they happen because of discrimination. If you feel you were singled out for job loss because of your age, race, ethnicity, national origin, or sex, you may have grounds for a discrimination claim.
If your company is required to give notice of mass layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and you did not receive proper warning of the layoff, you could be entitled to collect your wages and full benefits for up to 60 days. If you are facing either of these scenarios, consult an experienced employment lawyer to discuss your available legal options.
Middletown Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Individuals Seeking Compensation
If you did not receive adequate notice of your layoff or RIF, or if you feel that you are discriminated against in the process, speak with one of the experienced Middletown employment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.. Complete our online form or call our office at 732-842-6500 to schedule your initial consultation. We are located in Red Bank, New Jersey and work with clients from all over Ocean County, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, including the towns of Long Branch, Brick, Edison, East Brunswick, Middletown, Old Bridge, Freehold, Hazlet, Howell, Wall.