These unprecedented times are tough on everyone, from employees to managers and business owners. With several business interruptions and closings, layoffs are becoming a harsh reality for many companies across California.

Dealing with layoffs is never easy. And employers must always approach them carefully. Here are three essential tips employers should consider when facing layoffs.

1. Review and understand relevant employment laws

It is always beneficial for employers to review both state and federal laws when making any employment decisions. For example, in situations involving mass layoffs, employers should particularly review:

Employers may also wish to consult an experienced attorney before they move forward, so they can understand how they can avoid legal issues and protect the business in the long run.

2. Be prepared with a strategic plan

Creating an organized plan to approach layoffs is absolutely critical. And to create such a plan, businesses must consider several factors, including:

  • How will employers select who is laid off?
  • Who will be involved in the layoffs?
  • How will the company carry out the layoffs?
  • What is the timeframe of the layoffs?

Employers must answer all of these questions. However, there is one question that might be even more important: how will they inform employees of the layoffs?

3. Maintain an open dialogue

Employers should ensure they are open, compassionate and honest with employees throughout the process of the layoffs. It might seem overwhelming, but it is often better to be transparent. Therefore, it is critical that employers:

  • Promptly update employees about reductions; and
  • Listen to employees’ concerns.

This helps to give employees as much warning as possible. That way, they can prepare themselves and their families financially, apply for unemployment benefits and perhaps look for a new job.

Laying off employees can be stressful for the whole company but being open with employees and stakeholders can help the process go smoothly.