Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

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Billionaire
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Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by Billionaire » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:56 pm

I was wondering if anybody has ever negotiated their own layoff?

Dottie57
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:13 pm

I tried to talk my manager into laying me off, but he said no. I had pretty persuasive arguments but he would not bite.

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whodidntante
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:29 pm

By the time the worker bees become aware of layoffs, the list has already been made.

toofache32
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by toofache32 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:44 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:13 pm
I tried to talk my manager into laying me off, but he said no. I had pretty persuasive arguments but he would not bite.
Hilarious, as I am similarly confused by the original question! Since when is humor is allowed in the boglehead forum?? Be careful or you will be "moderated" to the abyss.

ccieemeritus
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by ccieemeritus » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:29 pm

In 2001 I was working for a high tech company that announced their first set of layoffs with a nice package. I asked my manager if they could lay me off. He declined. It turned out our department (IT) had enough contractors to avoid laying off many employees. Most of the layoffs were in sales departments for sectors impacted by the dot com bust.

Probably worked out for the best in the end.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:42 pm

Why would someone with Bllionaire alias have trouble getting lid off? Just buy the company and lay yourself off.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

MJW
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by MJW » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:35 am

Does the nature of your position give you any kind of leverage with your employer? If your departure would be likely to cause a hardship for them, and they are aware of this, maybe they would be willing to play ball so that a transition could be worked out. It depends on the employer, though, and it's always risky business to show your hand in that way. Once those cards are on the table you are almost always going to be more at their mercy than vice versa.

If you have no leverage -- i.e. you can be easily replaced/they don't really need you/they don't like you anyway -- it's probably a bad idea to broach the subject with them unless they're unusually charitable when it comes to dealing with their employees.

Rick Rock
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by Rick Rock » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:39 am

The short answer is yes.

Sam at financialsamurai.com blogs about this often and sells a book dedicated to the topic.

VegasBH
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by VegasBH » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:18 am

I had a friend who did this. He needed to do a cross country move for his wife and started working with his boss to structure the layoff. It helped that they wanted ti reclassify hus position to a lower band so laying off my friend saved the company money long term.

msk
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by msk » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:48 am

I was going to retire at 55 anyway, regardless of any early retirement package, but being a company director in a Fortune 10 company I knew the ropes very well. Secret was to align company strategy with your layoff. Either phase out your own position by reorganising or enable the company to execute a mainly political maneuver. Basically the company wished to accommodate a new director from head office but the only way to do it without upsetting certain board members was to create a new position, a silly move financially. Of course I jumped at the opportunity of my fading out and the new guy getting a ready-made vacancy. Everyone was happy. I got an extra 5 years added to my pensionable service and a pre-retirement promotion to boot, just for being so nice :mrgreen: Yes, rules do get bent by the higher ups... At non-director levels see if you can convince anyone of a reorganisation that will chop a job slot. You then target that to be your job :beer Nobody will ever offer you an early retirement/layoff package and simultaneously hire somebody to replace you. Delete your job and everyone is happy.

lostinjersey
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by lostinjersey » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:02 am

DH did this. He was at a company that was clearly going under. When Round 2 of layoffs came around, he raised his hand and asked to be put on the list. They agreed and he got something like a month or two of severance. Nothing life changing, but we already had plans to move across the country and the severance was a nice cushion.

So yes, it can be done, if it makes sense to both parties.

Billionaire
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by Billionaire » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:27 am

Thanks for the responses. We had a layoff last year and I almost went into the bosses office to ask if one of the people marked for layoff could be replaced by me. I really wanted to work all of 2017. The company doesn't offer much to laid off staff, but it would suite my needs. Maybe I should just retire and be done with it.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:33 am

Yes, it is possible. I've seen it done. It's generally a win-win for everyone, and it can't hurt to ask.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:38 am

Depends upon the company. I have worked for companies where it definitely happened - employee simply talks to manager and says "Hey, I know we have had a rough couple of quarters - if a lay-off is coming, I'd like to be on the list". Manager is happy because a very hard decision is made for him.

timmy
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by timmy » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:56 am

Several have answered ... it depends. I would agree.

I run several teams that are cyclical (project type work with peaks and valleys). Two folks on my team have volunteered to be first to go next time we hit a valley. Both would receive generous packages. One will retire and the other can semi retire with consulting gigs.

If/when the time comes and with HR/ Legal approval, I'll likely take them up on their offers.

How did they approach me? Both mentioned how much they like working for the company, the team, me, etc. They then acknowledged that our work goes in cycles ... and got me to acknowledge that. They said they'd been lucky to survive the other cycles. And finally, to help protect others ... they'd fall on the sword (when needed).

Whatever their motives ... they said the right things.

At my last place of work, we went through an endless cycle of layoffs. At one point, I was looking for jobs and gaining traction (actively interviewing, getting good feedback). I approached my boss about being laid off. My math ... The severance was 9 months. I was very confident that I'd land a job within that 9 months. Furthermore, if I was laid off, there would have been a 1 to 3 month transition period, giving me more time to find a job. And I had savings ... No luck. I failed.

Dottie57
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:01 am

toofache32 wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:44 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:13 pm
I tried to talk my manager into laying me off, but he said no. I had pretty persuasive arguments but he would not bite.
Hilarious, as I am similarly confused by the original question! Since when is humor is allowed in the boglehead forum?? Be careful or you will be "moderated" to the abyss.

I am serious. I would like to be laid off with a nice severance package. 24 weeks of pay after 21 years of service. We have had reduction in force 2+ times this year. It seems logcal to ask to be on layoff list if another RIF is coming.

Lynette
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by Lynette » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:00 am

Unless you are a senior manager, it is usually based on business need. In the second Megacorp for which I worked I was always in the "protected' group - difficult to obtain people with those skills - incidentally Mainframe.

diy60
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by diy60 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:30 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:01 am
toofache32 wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:44 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:13 pm
I tried to talk my manager into laying me off, but he said no. I had pretty persuasive arguments but he would not bite.
Hilarious, as I am similarly confused by the original question! Since when is humor is allowed in the boglehead forum?? Be careful or you will be "moderated" to the abyss.

I am serious. I would like to be laid off with a nice severance package. 24 weeks of pay after 21 years of service. We have had reduction in force 2+ times this year. It seems logcal to ask to be on layoff list if another RIF is coming.
I agree, its a good and legitimate question. Probably would depend on the size of the company you work for. I retired from a MegaCorp and attempted this strategy, but was a no go. I know the HR and Legal teams were heavily involved with any RIFs, and the CEO had the final say. I know many factors come into play and are extensively scrutinized for any RIFS. Several friends of mine were successful with this strategy but they worked for very small companies.

trs23
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by trs23 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:39 am

Get a package, leave as a director. As a hiring manager for a large company I would have questions on our resume if I saw you going backwards (even for a little while). As an organizational leader I would want to lead a department of demoralized folks in a diminished role.

If you can afford it, take the money and run. There are a ton of jobs out there (especially if you’re willing to move)

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:06 am

I just show up with attitude and you may tick off your boss enough that you may get laid off.
If they assign you something, don’t do it or delaying doing it. It may work better than negotiation.

walkindude
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by walkindude » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:08 am

In 2001-3, during the dot com bust, my medium-sized company had layoffs for 9 quarters in a row. Brutal. About the 5th quarter in, I was asked to transfer to another group in the same campus.

Since the chosen were still getting 2 weeks per year severance and I wanted to start a consulting business and was afraid the severance would get worse, I asked my boss if he could lay me off instead. He said okay, and my 26 weeks of severance is still in the bank.

The next quarter a good friend of mine tried the same thing, but they said no to him. The company went from 5000 to 1000 employees during this time, but they survived after several buyouts, and I believe my friend is still there.

The severance did get worse. And I'm still consulting. It can happen.

btenny
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by btenny » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:34 pm

Your boss really likes you.. I bet the consultants wanted to just lay you off to save more money. But your boss or his bigger boss thought you brought something to the table and said reduce your salary and keep you. So stay and be happy. But do get your resume updated. Things could change and you could still get layed off.

And keep working hard. Maybe talk to them later about a new different job with more responsibility so you can get a raise back to your old higher salary. Good luck finding something better.

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Veiled
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Re: Is it possible to negotiate a layoff?

Post by Veiled » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:37 pm

I haven't read this book but it's very well-reviewed: How To Negotiate A Severance.
Pardon me as I read these one hundred and fifty-seven SP vs LLC vs Scorp threads...

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