South-Western - Management  
Monterey County, Calif., Supervisors Seek Union Input on Layoffs
Topic Human Resource Management
Key Words Layoffs, unions
InfoTrac Reference CJ113154265
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News Story 

Faced with an upset work force and charges of discrimination, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors agreed to iron out details of upcoming layoffs with labor leaders before issuing layoff notices to employees. The layoffs would save almost $5.8 million and eliminate 76 positions. But supervisors agreed to wait two weeks so that an exact process can be established.

The Service Employees International Union has charged that the current plan discriminates against older and disabled workers. They feel it does not follow the protocol of seniority and is unfair, possibly resulting in forced demotions. Supervisors agreed that the details of the plan needed to be ironed out so it doesn't invite legal challenges.

The reductions are the first phase of a cost-cutting plan meant to overcome a $41 million deficit. Cuts will also be made in service and supplies, vehicle purchases, and reductions in contributions the county makes to other programs.

Questions
1.

What is the difference between a layoff and a termination? What can a manager do to lessen the effects of downsizing on an employee?

2.

Of what legal issues should an employer be aware before laying off an employee?

3.

What is the role of a union when a company is making layoffs?

Source "Monterey County, Calif., Supervisors Seek Union Input on Layoffs," The Monterey County Herald, Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, Feb. 11, 2004.
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