Reports on Global Health Research (ISSN: 2690-9480)

review article

Corporate Responses to COVID-19 Layoffs in North America and the Role of Human Resources Departments

Kayla Korman and Bahaudin G. Mujtaba*

Nova Southeastern University, Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, USA

*Corresponding author: Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33314-7796, USA

Received Date: 21 July, 2020; Accepted Date: 01 August, 2020; Published Date: 06 August, 2020


The required quarantine and closure of thousands of small, medium and large-sized firms due to the Covid-19 corona virus pandemic has changed life for billions of people around the globe, in just a few months since the start of the year during 2020. Consequently, some firm executives announced that they would close parts of their operations and facilities, while laying off thousands of workers to prevent companies from going bankrupt. While some firms and managers have terminated or laid off their employees through a very socially responsible or ethical means, others have not been able to be as sensitive. Consequently, in this conceptual literature-based paper, using real-time data regarding infection and death rates from the United States and various countries in the state of Florida, we discuss some of the challenges stemming from Covid-19 coronavirus and its corollary layoffs along with discussions about those who are involved in corporate employee terminations, bankruptcies and job transitions, some of which can serve as best practices, while other examples might be something that human resources professionals and managers should avoid in the future.

Layoffs have proven to be a highly traumatic experience not only for the employees directly affected, but also for the remaining workers in the organization, and even for top management. This explains why it is imperative for human resource professionals within the company to carefully orchestrate this practice of layoffs, in order to minimize the negative consequences and facilitate a successful economic journey throughout the layoff process.

The conclusion is that while providing a robust economic stimulus package might be necessary to assist those who have lost their jobs, it is not sufficient to curb the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economy; therefore, government policymakers should strategically assist hospitals, schools, and local leaders through a national and cohesive collective plan to effectively test, treat and trace the contacts of infected individuals so they can self-isolate in order to reduce and eliminate the spread of this virus. Furthermore, using unique examples and approaches from Canada and the United States, we offer examples, best practices, and recommendations for public sector policy-makers, organizations and managers on various approaches to help laid off employees’ transition to new opportunities in a socially responsible and professional manner.


American government response; Canadian government response; Covid-19; Covid-19 stress impact; Layoffs; Terminations

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