In a recent article, MSNBC discussed cost-cutting measures many employers are implementing as a consequence of the current economic recession. While much attention has been placed on the rising unemployment rate which hit 8.5 percent in March 2009 with 663,000 jobs lost, the employees who have so far survived the layoffs are not out of the woods. A recent poll by the Society of Human Resource Management found that 15 percent of employers have implemented salary reduction and that 24 percent were likely to do the same in the next half of the year.
The poll also listed some of the top cost-cutting measures employers have made in the previous six months. These measures include:
Health Care Coverage for employees: Reduced 78%, Frozen 22%
Health Care Coverage for Spouses/Dependents: Reduced 72%, Frozen 24%, Eliminated 3%
Employer Match to Retirement Savings Plans: Reduced 47%, Frozen 32%, Eliminated 21%
Paid Time Off: Reduced 44%
While many companies are within their legal rights to make these cutbacks, employers cannot adversely impact an employees job or benefits based on an illegal form of discrimination, such as their race, gender age, national origin, religion or in some instances, a disability.