Your company just made headlines for its quarterly losses. You hear concerned whispers as people pass by your cube, and your boss is holed up in his office like he’s defending secrets of national security. At this point, there’s only two questions you care about: Are layoffs happening, and will you be one of the people to get a pink slip?
Layoffs are less common than they were a few years ago during the Great Recession, when companies in just about every sector were struggling. Still, if a business is in the red and needs to restructure, you can bet downsizing is at least a part of the conversation.
To avoid any legal issues from cost-cutting layoffs, companies need to follow certain guidelines when it comes to deciding who to lay off. However, those guidelines still leave ample room for discretionary cuts. In unions, the typical rule is “last in, first out” and organized by seniority. However, in other workplace situations, management has the ability to direct who goes and who stays.
When a company needs to reduce its workforce for economic reasons, it’s normally a good course of action to determine which departments or positions are no longer helpful for achieving the company’s goals. “For example, if the company is cutting back on direct sales to focus more attention on research and development, the sales department can be safely targeted for cuts,” legal advice site Nolo said.
Think layoffs might be in your company’s future? Here are 10 types of employees who are often the first to go. Hopefully this list doesn’t describe you in anyway.