Get Help from Human Resources and Legal Staff

When Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. planned a downsizing effort in 1993, based on moving from its mainframe to client/servers, the unions threatened to walk out. The downsizing program had to be deferred until the labor dispute was resolved. That delay indicates the value of securing counsel and advice from legal and human relations specialists.

The human resources staff should participate closely in the planning of the downsizing steps. It is their job to be skilled in the handling of employee relations matters, especially those involving intense emotional feelings. Therefore, human resources' advice and guidance should be sought in laying out the plan. However, the execution is a line responsibility; that is, it is the line manager's proper role to make the announcements to the groups affected and, ultimately, to explain to each individual how the plan affects him or her.

The legal staff should also be consulted in designing the downsizing plan and the separation packages. Their advice is needed to make sure of compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), union agreements, and other legal requirements.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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