What is Recessionary Discrimination?
During a recession, employers are often faced with the difficult reality of having to reduce costs by implementing a mass layoff often called a reduction-in-force (“RIF”). For many employees terminated in a RIF, loss of employment can be devastating financially and emotionally.
Unfortunately, employers sometimes use a RIF as an opportunity to terminate an employee for an unlawful reason. For example, instead of relying on an employee’s demonstrated skill, performance, or qualification to determine if the employee should be terminated in a RIF, an employer or supervisor may decide to terminate the employee based on his or her gender, race, color, religion, disability or other category protected under the employment laws.
Wigdor LLP pioneered the term “recessionary discrimination,” to describe situations where an employer attempts to use the financial circumstances of a recession as a pretextual reason for terminating an employee for an unlawful reason.
Wigdor LLP has extensive experience handling cases involving recessionary discrimination. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the Firm successfully litigated on behalf of women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community and other members of protected groups who were terminated in RIFs for unlawful reasons.