Employers Bear Burden In Disparate Impact Age Discrimination Cases - Recent Supreme Court Case

According to Richard Sloane, management attorney with Littler Mendelson in DC,

"Meacham forces employers to more carefully evaluate involuntary RIFs. But there are several steps that prudent employers can take to minimize, and effectively manage, their potential exposure to litigation resulting from layoff decisions." These steps include but are not limited to:

  • Consult legal counsel (in-house and/or outside) to identify and analyze all of the issues to consider before making a layoff decision. "Revisit and update the initial list of issues at various stages in the RIF decision-making process," he added.
  • Develop objective, measurable criteria to support RIF decisions. Evaluate the weight assigned to each criterion.
  • Train managers on how to assess employees based on these factors. Managers in Meacham were given little guidance on how to assess flexibility and critical skills.
  • Have selection decisions approved by a trained team of diverse members of upper management.
  • Create and maintain thorough, comprehensive employee records to support RIF decisions.
  • Regularly review and evaluate employee performance (e.g., annually, semiannually), since performance typically factors into layoff decisions.
  • Evaluate and analyze the statistical impact of a potential RIF. The employer in Meacham analyzed targeted employees for disparate impact based on race and gender, but no similar analysis was performed for age.

Read more here

Where recruiting comes in is how we assess talent on the intake. I've always made the case for recruiting and organizational development being under the same leadership and taking advantage of the synergies between the two functions.

But this would mean that HR had to be progressive and creative...

Views: 71

Comment by Dennis Smith on September 3, 2008 at 11:41am
good info, Steve...thanks!
Comment by Steve Levy on September 3, 2008 at 11:55am
Funny thing Dennis is that with all the hot air coming from HR's propaganda machine one would think that HR leaders across the board would know this stuff - and companies would stop making dubious organizational decisions that get themselves into trouble.

But talking leadership, teaching leadership and practicing leadership are three very different animals.

Nice to hear from you. I'm going to be blogging more here because it seems as if RBC people actually read this drivel. Currently I'm working on a 48 thread piece on power and recruiting based on the great book "The 48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene. First post later today then nearly every day for 47 days...
Comment by Dennis Smith on September 3, 2008 at 1:33pm
holy smoke...I'll tune in my friend.

Hey, btw...will be looking for a place to crash in NY during the Kennedy Exec Search Summit in Oct(I think?)...no anybody that will let me crash for cheap?!


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