Mass layoffs of public employees in Louisiana

A sense of job insecurity is still prevalent among many sections of private and public employees. This is due to a rebounding economy. Employment contracts sometimes alleviate that insecurity by ensuring employment. Employees need to negotiate their employment contract carefully; as quite often its clauses are misused or misinterpreted, leading to troublesome employment litigation.

In a recent move, state Department of Health and Hospitals in New Orleans, Louisiana, has decided to give the LSU public hospital to Louisiana Children's Medical Center for management by the next spring to prevent around 400 job reductions in January. The reductions would come due to the budget cuts following the federal Medicaid reduction this past summer. This step would definitely improve services offered, services which were maybe diminished due to this reduction.

Louisiana Children's Medical Center is expected to take over the LSU public hospital by next spring. The CEO said that this takeover will definitely reduce the number of layoffs expected initially. However, the state health secretary has announced that there will be layoffs in all sections of LSU, except for the doctors.

Reportedly, there are 2,240 employees in LSU. All of them can apply for jobs post-transition but have to undergo interviews with the new management. This is an opportunity for the employees to retain employment but there is a fear of being laid off.

There are laws in place that enable an employee to claim compensation and unemployment benefits after termination or layoff. An employer also has to serve notice before layoff or termination. A knowledgeable legal professional in the field of employment law will help to advise the person about how to claim rights and to ensure job security, especially if the person is up against a large corporation or medical institution.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "New Orleans public hospital employees face layoffs this spring," Dec. 13, 2012

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