Layoffs: Unemployment Attorney
Managing Layoffs Correctly
It is imperative that you protect your company from unnecessary losses by failing to manage issues related to layoffs of employees correctly. When your workload diminishes, and you have staff you must let go, how you go about the process can make a significant difference for your company in matters related to unemployment and the EDD. There are processes that if put in place, could protect you from future problems when you are in the position of needing to reduce your workforce.
At The Law Offices of Cyrus Mor, we have represented employers in unemployment compensation cases throughout California. One recurring issue has been the situation arising from an employee voluntarily quitting, and then receiving unemployment benefits regardless of the fact that they quit their job. The rule of thumb is that if an employee quits voluntarily, they cannot collect unemployment benefits. But there are several exceptions to this rule. They may be able to collect benefits even if they voluntarily quit where an employer was asking them to commit an illegal act, such as falsifying tax records for them, or demanded that they participate in some sort of fraudulent act such as filing false reports to authorities. Other examples include abusive behavior on the part of the employer, working under intolerable conditions, not being paid, being discriminated against, child care issues which caused them to quit their job, being exposed to certain health or safety risks on the job, or a family emergency.
If an employee who quit has been granted unwarranted benefits after a voluntary quit which you wish to appeal, the decision could be reversed if the voluntarily quit does not fall under one of the exceptions known as "good cause".
Good Cause for Termination
"Good cause" is defined in Title 22, Section 1256-3(b): "Good cause" exists for leaving work, when a substantial motivating factor in causing the claimant to leave work, at the time of leaving, whether or not work connected, is real, substantial, and compelling and would cause a reasonable person genuinely desirous of retaining employment to leave work under the same circumstances.
In order to collect benefits after a voluntary the employee must be able to show that they attempted to preserve the relationship with you. If they have not, the good cause will be negated. Attempts to transfer within the same company to avoid intolerable conditions or to take a pre-determined leave of absence to take care of any personal issues such as a family emergency or child care problems are examples of attempting to preserve the employment relationship.
If you are an employer and need legal advice regarding the aftereffects of voluntary quits, and the potential ramifications of unemployment benefits for the departed employee, please contact our office today.
Under state law, you are required to give at least 60 days of notice when a plant is closing, or a mass layoff is planned. The labor laws in this state often appear to favor employees, and an employer who fails to adhere to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) could face trouble in the future, with an employee gaining compensation after layoff due to the failure. This law is applicable to companies that have 100 or more employees that are full time, and have been so for at least 6 of the prior 12 months. The types of layoffs that will require notification are those involving the layoff of 50 or more employees within 30 days. When an employee was laid off and was not served notification, there can be legal action taken against the employer, and you may have to pay the former employee, as well as his or her attorney fees if you lose.
Are you planning layoffs? Ensure that you have all of your legal requirements in place before issuing any pink slips. You do not want to be in the position of paying all of your former employees by failing to adhere to state or federal law. At our firm, The Law Offices of Cyrus Mor, we can help you with every facet of layoffs, the legal requirements, notifications and other issues of concern. Call us today for more information.