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Reduction In Force Essay

1510 words - 6 pages

Today, many health care organizations have been forced to reduce their workforce due to the downturn of the economy. Marshall and Broas (2009) state that whenever health care organizations conduct a reduction in force (RIF); there is the potential for legal risk. However, with proper planning and implementing, employers can minimize the risk of litigation (Marshall & Broas, 2009; Segal, 2001). Hence, before carrying out a 10% reduction in workforce, there are a number of steps that need to be taken to ensure it is successful.
In the planning process, the health care organization’s first step should be to identify alternative expense reduction measures that can be implemented. Marshall and Broas (2009) and McConnell (2006) state that measures such as hiring freezes, reduced work hours, reduced salaries or bonuses, early retirement, limited use of temporary workers and discrepancy spending should be explored first before resorting to mass reduction in the workforce. Given the numerous legal cases in which employees have accused companies of lavish spending during layoff processes, a company should consider taking expense reduction measures. This would show that the company had explored another alternative before resorting to a RIF, and it would also help employers dismiss employees claims that the RIF was not necessary or discriminatory ( Marshall & Broas,2009) .Whatever alternative expense reduction measures were taken by the company along with the reasons for doing so should also be documented( Marshall & Broas,2009).Documenting the reason for the RIF, should be the next step.
Cost cutting, discontinuation of product or services ,technological changes, and consolidation due to mergers and acquisitions are commonly legal accepted reasons for a RIF(Segal,2001) .During this stage of the planning process, Segal (2001) argues that it is very important that the reason for the RIF is documented along with the proposed timing of the RIF implementation, just in case there is a need to rebut discrimination claims by employees and to protect the company from any legal or union activities that occur after a layoff decision is made .After documenting the reasons for the RIF, a RIF committee should be created by the organization. The success of the RIF depends greatly on the committee; hence, Segal (2001) suggests that the committee should be diverse in regard to gender, religion, age, and race and consist of employees from various areas of the company such as finance, human resources, payroll, etc. Segal (2001) argues that it would be very hard from a legal standpoint for employees to prove discrimination claims when the RIF committee’s members are diverse. Following the formation of the committee, the members’ first step should be deciding on the positions, the number of positions and the department or units that will be affected. Segal (2001) suggests that a new organizational chart showing how the company would look after the RIF should ...

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