An economic downturn means people lose jobs. And those jobs don’t magically disappear: Businesses have to decide whom to cut and whom to keep, and they expose themselves to lawsuits in the process.
Downsizing requires discrimination of some sort, but to avoid legal liability, businesses have to make sure their process stays within the law, said Doug Large, a partner in Santa Barbara’s Archbald & Spray and head of the firm’s employment law practice group. “[Private] businesses aren’t in business to ensure they have a politically correct diversity,” Large said. “You’re trying to find the best horse for the race. If those all turn out to be males in the course of building your business, there’s nothing necessarily discriminatory about that.”