There are certainly times when businesses have to downsize. Maybe a company had extreme growth, hired a group of new employees, and then watched the economy enter a recession. They have to cut jobs just to balance the books.
This is important to note because all downsizing isn’t a problem. It couple be necessary and completely legal. But there is a hidden truth behind some situations in which downsizing has been carried out. It’s actually a tactic to disguise discrimination and wrongful termination.
Check your protected classes
To see if this is what’s happening, you need to consider the protected classes. These include things like religion, race, age and gender. If all of the people involved in the downsizing are in these classes or even in one specific group, that raises a major red flag.
For example, an employer may know that they would be violating employees’ rights to fire everyone who is over 50 years old. But they may still want to do this in order to give the company a cultural facelift or simply to save money by paying younger workers less. As a result, they say that they have to downsize, conveniently “downsize” all of the older workers, and then come back and hire replacements that are younger.
Again, this doesn’t mean that downsizing itself is illegal or that it is always done maliciously. But it’s important to watch out for ways that employers may try to disguise illegal actions and then to look into your options. You and your fellow employees certainly don’t deserve to be discriminated against, and you need to know what steps to take if that has happened.