In the new Legal Forum Column, BGD attorney Philip C. Eschels discussed applying the first in, first out rule. Read his advice below and don’t miss our monthly Legal Forum Column in Louisville Business First.

Topic

Do I need legal advice for a RIF if I apply the LIFO (last in, first out) rule?

Advice

Although using LIFO could be a legitimate factor in a reduction-in-force (RIF) situation, using it as the sole selection criterion could pose inherent legal risks that should be analyzed. There are business disadvantages to using LIFO too, including the potential danger of losing workers with key skills who have joined the organization recently or making exceptions to keep some, but not others.

It is important to seek employment legal counsel to assist in reviewing what seems to be a valid process before and during the RIF to ensure there is minimal risk of discrimination claims. Understanding the factors that should be reflected in a legitimate, non-discriminatory decision-making process is essential before taking adverse employment actions. Employers should be able to justify selection choices for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons.