Guryan Quoted In National Law Journal on Avoiding Litigation Over Layoffs

The National Law Journal

Barry Guryan, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment and Health Care and Life Sciences practices in New York, was interviewed by The National Law Journal about steps employers can take to avoid litigation over layoffs.

The article, titled "Wave of layoffs a legal minefield: Clients on both sides besiege firms," reported that while difficult economic times have hurt some law firms, it has given a boost to lawyers whose practices focus on proper planning and execution of layoffs. Improperly done, layoffs can lead to lawsuits over claims of discrimination and wrongful discharge, and to disparate-impact class actions.

Guryan pointed out several laws that employers should be mindful of to avoid litigation and government investigations, such as the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN); state and federal laws that protect certain categories of employees from discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional; and laws that protect older workers from being forced to waive their rights or from being coerced into taking "voluntary" layoffs.

"The main thing is planning," said Guryan, who added that, if a business plans to downsize, "it is prudent to have a documented business justification."