#1  
Unread 08-25-2003, 06:15 AM
scantey
 
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Default Bumping Rights?

Unfortunately our company is having another layoff and I was looking though some information and came across several mentionings of being able to exercise your "bumping rights". I am not sure what this means. Any help will be appreciated. Also has anyone been sold to another company? I am looking for a good layoff letter (if there is such a thing) informing the employee of the situation.
Thanks Much
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  #2  
Unread 08-25-2003, 06:27 AM
scottorr
 
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Default RE: Bumping Rights?

I believe that bumping rights refer to ees with higher seniority being able to bump other ees out of their positions. An example would be if one department is laying off ten people and another is not laying off any. If one of the laid off ees has more seniority than an ee that is not being laid off, they can bump them out of their position to avoid being laid off themselves. This can also work for multiple shift employees, a senior ee working third shift can bump a less senior ee who might be working first shift. I believe this tends to be a union issue.
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  #3  
Unread 08-25-2003, 06:37 AM
gillian2
 
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Default RE: Bumping Rights?

Bumping is a process as Scott describes. They are usually present in union environments or the public sector. A non-union company can have bumping rights by policy if they wish, but it is unusual.
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  #4  
Unread 08-25-2003, 07:42 AM
Balloonman
 
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Default RE: Bumping Rights?

Scott describe the process correctly but left out one thing. Bumping usually means a sub-standard employee that has more seniority gets to make a newer better employee unemployed. x:D At least this is often the case.............
My $0.02 worth.
DJ The Balloonman
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  #5  
Unread 08-25-2003, 08:51 AM
Hatchetman
 
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Default RE: Bumping Rights?

I have to disagree with Balloonman.

Bumping rights has no such connotation unless the decision of the company is to lay off only poor emplyees. If the company routinely lays off documented poor emplyees and it has a categorical policy to allow senior employees to bump out less senior emplyees, then shame on the comapny for not paying attention to what it is doing. It could have a policy that still ensures bumping rights to empllyees who are rated competent but not to those emplyees who have been rated as less than competent.

But otherwise bumping doesn't automatically entail the replacement of a more capable employee by a less capable one simply because of seniority.

Bumping rights may also result from promotions. In the higher level, the competent senior employer is being curtailed because of financial considerations, but certainly retains value to the company. Thus bumping rights may allow th eemplyee to reinstate to he previosly held position and retain the valued employee. The assumption of bumping rights is that in an efficient managment controlled workforce, competent emplyees are promtoed and incompetent emplyees are not and are eventually discharged; that the more senior employee has more value to the company than the less senior employee because of the length of service and knoweldge about th ecompany (it's also a form of loyalty).
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  #6  
Unread 08-25-2003, 09:35 AM
Sunny
 
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Default RE: Bumping Rights?

Everyone has described bumping rights correctly, except for one major ommission, which is ability to do the job. Our union contract allows for bumping, but only if the senior employee is "qualified." Qualified means the bumping employee must have completed a company training program in the skilled job they want to bump to. The unskilled jobs are up for grabs, of course.

I don't have a current sample of a lay-off letter but I bet there's one on the HR Hero site. If not, I recommend you keep it simple. Just explain the sale and say that due to the merger certain positions will be eliminated.

The process of lay-off, bumping, etc. is never fun. Good luck.

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  #7  
Unread 08-25-2003, 10:14 AM
Don D
 
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Default RE: Bumping Rights?

I'm not sure what jurisdiction Hatchet works in, but the 25 years I worked in State Government, there never was a way to terminate incompetent employees. And, as Balloon said, they were always the survivors when RIF time descended on an office. So many of the survivors were tenured, lazy, sloppy, ineffective, poor performers. The system was built with them in mind. The catch 22 was that the State in its wisdom to reduce staff to a level of effectiveness in operations, would always wind up sending home the newer more competent people and retaining the toads.

Most RIFS I've seen in the private sector did NOT allow bumping. State government and unionized workplaces always have seniority rights (bumping) as a requirement, but as someone said, there's always the requirement that ability to do the task be demonstrated by prior training or experience unless the skill level of the job is nil. The largest, most uncontrollable monster I experienced was a Statewide RIF plan among 48 offices where every employee had to list 5 jobs in the state where they would move if they bumped. It was a total nightmare that would have been pandemoniam and paralysis had they not changed it to a more sensible approach before starting the RIF.
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  #8  
Unread 08-26-2003, 01:39 AM
LindaS
 
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Default RE: Bumping Rights?

The previous posts regarding what "bumping" rights pertain to are correct but I would like to make one addition...

Our union contract allows for "bumping" of less senior employee by more senior employees in a mandatory layoff situation with a twist. The more senior employee may NOT be qualified to do the job of a less senior employee BUT if there is a more senior employee who CAN do the job of the less senior employee, that employee can be moved into the less senior's position and the more senior employee will then "backfill" the empty position. Sound confusing? It did to me as well until we had a grievance regarding this issue and, to settle the grievance, we had to pay the affected employee the difference between what he received from unemployment and what he would have made had he remained at work.

My suggestion regarding "bumping" is to look at the larger scope of ramifications in allowing employees to do this, especially if you don't have a union contract that requires you to do this and it is not a past practice.
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  #9  
Unread 08-26-2003, 03:59 AM
Hatchetman
 
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Default RE: Bumping Rights?

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 08-26-03 AT 10:02AM (CST)[/font][p]Firstly, in our jurisdiction there are ways to terminate poor performers and ongoing problem employees.

We establish "bumping rights" for more senior employees to previously held positions that were competently performed.

I've never suggested that it was proper just to have a more senior employee who has never done the job or has not demonstrated the requisite skills and abilities to do the job to be put into a partiuclar job upon demotion. We do provide that if the senior employee's previous job no longer exists, that he or she be put in a vacant job, if one exists, that is most nearly similar to the duties and pay of the previously-held job.

Any employer who just puts employees willy-nilly into lower positions in an RIF deserves what it gets.
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  #10  
Unread 08-26-2003, 07:08 AM
Hunter1
 
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Default RE: Bumping Rights?

We're a public sector employer with labor agreements, and have bumping rights, but with a possibly unique twist: an employee who bumps a less senior employee has 10 days to prove he/she can do the job (determination made at the sole discretion of the employer) otherwise, the senior ee goes on lay-off. This puts the burden on the bumping employee to bump only to positions which he/she is fairly confident that they can perform.

PS We also discharge incompetent, lazy, dishonest, etc. employees.
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