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Energy Companies Face Potential Lawsuits If Layoffs Don't Follow the Letter of the Law

1.29.16

Jeff Barnes’ article “Energy Companies Face Potential Lawsuits If Layoffs Don’t Follow the Letter of the Law” was featured in Oil + Gas Monitor on January 29, 2016.

Nearly all energy companies carried out major reductions-in-force (RIFs) during 2015. Unless the industry sees a major rebound in the price of oil in the very near future, companies are likely to continue to shed headcount during 2016. RIFs are often a necessity during economic downturns, as they help reduce labor costs, “right size” companies based on the current economic climate, and steer companies back towards profitability. But companies can face significant legal exposure if they do not execute RIFs to the letter of the law.

In the article, Jeff provides five employment law tips that every company needs to consider to steer clear of a legal blowout when implementing RIFs:

  1. Avoid lawsuits by WARNing employees.
  2. Don’t pay for a release of overtime claims.
  3. Provide older workers time to consider their severance offers.
  4. Establish the criteria for laying off employees.
  5. When boom goes bust, don’t give up on non-compete agreements.

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