With the cable news shows tracking the stock market like the latest sports scores ("it’s down…no it’s really down!), there is little doubt that the public and companies are all feeling some anxiety. 

So, I decided to take a look at some of the blog statistics to see if I could discern any patterns.  While some search terms over the last 72 hours seem obvious (such as "Connecticut Employment Law"), there were other search terms that stood out.

Among them are several dozen for what I would term "layoff-related" terms like OWBPA and WARN.  More troubling though were searches for "ct layoff law" or "60 day RIF law connecticut". 

Some of the search terms were even done by individuals with IP addresses at some notable Connecticut companies. Is this a prediction of things to come? Or is it just nervous employees researching what the rules are in case things turn south?

Either way, to me it shows a workplace on edge. 

In employment law, we often talk about how human resources can play an important role in taking the pulse of the workplace and providing communications to address questions that people might have.

Why? Because anger and lawsuits sometimes develop from employees who feel mistreated or who were not expecting the adverse action.  Telling employees the whole truth — even when the future is up in the air — is an important part of any communication plan. 

A long time ago I heard an employee — when complaining about her employer — say that her employer treated her "like a kid".  Had the employer managed the employee a little more closely, the lawsuit may have been averted.

Being forthright with employees about the prospects about the future business and staffing levels — hopefully, that’s not a novel concept for your business.