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Reductions in force (RIFs) require careful planning and implementation. In any single jurisdiction, they can be expensive and time-consuming. Add the complexity of a multi-country RIF, and the situation can become daunting.
However, global RIFs are manageable if you plan ahead, bearing in mind country-specific requirements. This article provides a checklist of key practical steps to consider whether you are facing layoffs within the United States or simultaneously in many countries.
Within the U.S.
When a RIF is planned in the U.S., things tend to move fast, but there are several key steps that should be taken to ensure the process is managed effectively and the organization is protected:
Outside the U.S.
What can be achieved in a day (or a couple of months if WARN applies) in the U.S. can take months (and yes, sometimes years) once taken global. What can be implemented in the U.S. at no cost or with separation payments that can be enshrined in releases is often far more expensive internationally. The key to protect the organization is to plan ahead while bearing in mind the requirements of each jurisdiction involved.
Ute Krudewagen is an attorney in the Silicon Valley, Calif., office of DLA Piper. Ben Gipson is an attorney in DLA Piper's Los Angeles office and Victoria Richter is an attorney in the firm's Chicago's office.
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