What are "bumping rights"?

Author: Jed L. Marcus, Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C.

In many collective bargaining agreements, a layoff is controlled by seniority, where less senior workers are laid off before more senior workers. In some cases, where seniority is determined within a department or job classification, less senior workers in a higher classification who are to be laid off will displace less senior workers in lower classifications. The less senior workers will then be laid off instead. This is known as bumping. Bumping is the right of a senior employee to replace a less senior employee in a particular assignment or job for which both employees are qualified.