New Book Helps Employers Avoid Legal Woes When Downsizing

Compiled By Traci Purdum When it comes to reducing your workforce, best practices can help you avoid violating employment law, according to the SHRM Foundation, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management, Alexandria, Va. The SHRM Foundation's new book, "Ending the Employment Relationship Without Ending Up In Court," (2001, SHRM) helps employers better understand legal obligations employers owe their employees when ending the employment relationship. "Disciplinary terminations, position eliminations or discharges because of performance reasons are situations HR professionals may handle on a more common basis," notes Francis T. Coleman, the book's author and partner in the law firm Williams, Mullen, Clark & Dobbins, Washington. "However, there are additional laws that must be considered when conducting layoffs . . ." The book provides information to employers on various issues including:

  • Determining whether a discharge is legal.
  • Dealing with protected-class employees.
  • Cardinal rules for disciplinary and performance-related terminations.
  • A checklist to review prior to reducing a workforce. To order the book, visit the SHRMStore at or call 800-444-5006, option 1.
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