When a recession is taking place often employers cut costs by initiating a mass layoff which is called a reduction-in-force (“RIF”). In addition to this, employers are sometimes known for using RIF as an excuse to for wrongful termination of employees for reasons which are classified as unlawful such as due to the employee’s gender, race, sexual orientation, color, ethnicity or disability. This is referred to as recessionary discrimination.
What Does It Mean When Employees Become Victims of Recessionary Discrimination When They are Laid Off?
Recessionary discrimination may occur when employers exploit a recession and terminate employees for a reason which is actually illegal according to both state and federal employment legislation and not because there is a recession.
Examples of this are when the employee is a member of a protected class such as their color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, religion and race. These employees are legally protected from being terminated because of their membership of a protected class. At any time, including in a recession, it is illegal for an employer to use an employees’ membership of a protected class to terminate employment.
How to Tell If You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated as a Result of Recessionary Discrimination
If you were fired illegally based on recessionary discrimination you need to be able to provide evidence to prove your employer’s action. Much of this proof will originate from how your employer treated you before the termination took place which shows you have been illegally treated.
This could include any of the following:
- discriminatory comments made by your employer;
- lack of reasonable accommodations by your employer to assist you because of your membership of a protected class;
- unequal wages due to your membership of a protected class;
- you failed to be offered promotion despite having favorable appraisals of your work performance.
What Should You Do If You Were Wrongfully Terminated as a Result of Recessionary Discrimination?
If you have experienced recessionary discrimination in your workplace, gather evidence of the discrimination. This could be through witnesses’ observations such as overhearing your employer discussing terminating you because of your protected status, emails sighted by eye witnesses, phone conversations overheard and messages left on a computer screen, referring to the reason that you are being terminated is recessionary discrimination.
As soon as you have sufficient evidence you should tell your employer about your findings, speak to an attorney who may be able to help you file a claim for recessionary discrimination with the EEOC. You are unlikely to win a discrimination claim if your evidence fails to support your claim.
Get Help With Your Wrongful Termination Claim
It is never easy winning a wrongful termination claim based on recessionary discrimination. It is important to gather evidence that proves this has taken place. Consider working with an attorney who can help prove your termination was illegal.
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- How to Know If You Were Illegally Fired
- 3 Things To Know About Wrongful Termination
- What Is Recessionary Discrimination?