RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette

Subject: RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette
From: "Glenn Maxey" <glenn -dot- maxey -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 14:15:52 -0600



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Domaschuk, Rob [mailto:Robd -at- datalogics -dot- com]
> Sent: Monday, October 22, 2001 1:00 PM
> To: TECHWR-L
> Subject: RE: Layoff logistics and etiquette
>
>
> Kelly asked:
> > If you are "laying off" people, you shouldn't
> > be hiring other people, right?
>
> A company can hire for other areas while laying people off.

<snip>

> The only legal concern is if you lay someone off with those
> wonderful words "we're eliminating your position" and then hire
> someone shortly after (even within a few months). That can lead
> to a civil case where the person laid off can
> (successfully) argue that they were really fired without notice.

My state (Colorado) is an at-will-employer. For the first time ever when
I hired on here, they made me sign a form that should have been at 18
pts, bolded, and all-caps. It stated (paraphrased): "just as you can up
and quit for no good reason on a moment's notice, we can fire your butt
for any and no good reason on a moment's notice."

Basically, they can do what they want and you have little recourse.

The only people making distinctions are those people in the unemployment
office who are doling out your $265/week (and those figures might be
high). To them it matters whether you quit, were laid off, or fired with
just-cause.

> I just take a somewhat pragmatic approach - I got
> laid off, do I really want to argue a case and try to get it back,
> or do I move on? I always opt for moving on.

I'm with you, Rob.

Life at a company after a lay-off is much worse.

One layoff story from 1990. We were given hints that something was
afloat (round #1 had happened 3 months earlier and hit 30 of us), so I
made sure I drove that day instead of taking the bus. When I arrived at
the office, the sys admin guys (friends) were outside smoking and [clue
#1] didn't return my cheery morning greeting all that joyously. [clue
#2] I noticed empty boxes folded and stacked up at varous locations in
the cube farm. [clue #3] Nobody could log onto the network.

We waited until they came and got us. 90 of us (out of 325) were hit in
round #2. They gave us 2 months severence; they set up office space so
we could use computers and printers to prepare resumes; they contacted
an outplacement office; they hosted a 4 hour outplacement seminar for us
displayed people.

All in all, I thought it was pretty humane.

Unlike other jobs where lay-offs were spread-out over time, performed on
an individual level, and made to look like firing-with-cause (e.g.,
getting rid of the dead wood) in order to reduce unemployment claims and
to keep the company's unemployment insurance premiums low. And then they
contested any and all claims against them at hearings at the
unemployment office. Still, if 25 pieces of dead wood are set adrift in
the course of a month or two, looks like a layoff to me (and the
unemployment office.) Although I wouldn't have considered myself dead
wood, I must admit that the rivers and oceans I have since drifted on
have been wonderful and better than the tinderbox/fire-hazzard confines
of their dry camp.

Glenn Maxey
Technical Writer
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
1765 West 121st Avenue
Westminster, CO 80234-2301
Tel. +1 303.223.5164
Fax. +1 303.223.5275
glenn -dot- maxey -at- voyanttech -dot- com


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