Laid off!!

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mathwhiz
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by mathwhiz »

As the suits say, never let a good crisis go to waste.

A lot of employers are considering drastic layoffs and right sizing their organization under the pretense and cover of corona virus, including companies that have been poorly run for years especially larger retailers that they think now is a good time to get rid of long term debt obligations under possible bankruptcy.

This trend will continue.
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rob
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by rob »

TravelGeek wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:04 pm HR should provide you the the COBRA information and you have six (?) weeks to sign up for it, and coverage will be retroactive to your day of separation or whenever your current coverage ends (could be end of the month).
This is a very important point; It let's you delay making a decision while allowing an option if something happens to back date the effective date. I signed all the paperwork with a check and let it sit on a shelf... never sent in the end as managed to get a new job in the gap.

Keep your head up.... Move on....
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
alfaspider
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by alfaspider »

Stormbringer wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:33 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:12 pm The American employer-employee relationship is all about business. There are neither friends nor foes. It is all about interest. For the case of an at-will employment, either party, employer or employee, is free to terminate the employment. Take a severance if any or the best one if negotiable and move on.
In early 2009, a friend of mine, who was in sales for an automotive supplier, got called into corporate for a meeting. He drove across two states, and they sat him at a table with HR and fired him. They took the keys to his company car, his mobile phone, and marched him to the door, stranding him in the parking lot about 300 miles from home.
Somewhat similar story: I lived in Manhattan during hurricane Sandy (2012), which caused power outages and flooding in much of the city. A friend who lived in a harder hit area of the city had lost elevators (his apartment was over 20 stories up) and water so he came to stay with us. About two days after the storm hit, my friend (who counter-commuted to the suburbs) was told to come in for an 8AM meeting the next day. Most commuter trains were shut down, including any train to take him to the office. Since there were no trains running, he had to pay over $100 for a cab to physically get there. At the meeting, they laid off the entire department, leaving him stranded in the suburbs.

To the OP: condolences. Don't take it as a personal judgment on you or your performance. The politics that go into this sort of thing are often arbitrary. The good news is it sounds like you have in-demand skills. I've had colleagues who got laid off and ended up in a much better situation for it. After the COVID lockdowns end, I think there will be a lot of hiring activity as employers scramble to ramp back up.
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cashboy
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by cashboy »

moneywise3 wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:54 pm
My questions are around these areas, although am still so fuzzy:

1. I'm hurt, deeply hurt. I was lied to and someone got rid of me to look good, and maybe earn a bonus. The trust I had on small company management, as compared to mega-corps, has been shaken. How do these wounds heal?
2. I'm in FL, and have applied for Reemployment assistance. The application shows complete, but even no acknowledgement email from them.
3. Any pointers on how to get health insurance for my family.
4. I work in the field of embedded software. Any hints about job search.
5. Do I stand a chance if I decide to sue them? I will refuse to sign the severance agreement, and use their narrative in the town-hall and the fact they are still hiring at least one person against them. Q1 and March sales was decent. My performance was good - just few weeks ago they paid me a decent bonus.
1. life is unfair; business even less so. the 'wound' will heal but you will will carry the 'scar'. to help yourself, look forward from here, not backward from here.

3. if you had med benefits through your employer you should qualify for COBRA.

5. not likely you have a case (even if it feels like you do). your company likely has a team of lawyers that was consulted before this action and is ready to handle any suits. see what they provide in the severance package.

sorry to hear of this happening to you. :(

unfortunately, this is not uncommon.

good luck moving forward from here!

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willthrill81
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by willthrill81 »

My father told me a long time ago to never for a minute believe that an employer, even one that appears to be very nice, has any meaningful loyalty to its employees and that employees are only viewed as valuable to the extent that they are perceived to help the employer's bottom line. My experiences and observations of others' has shown me that that view is almost entirely accurate. Consequently, I have tried my best to not get emotionally attached to any of my employers for I know that they are certainly not attached to me.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by TomatoTomahto »

White Coat Investor wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:44 am It's useful to business owners to hear the perspective of someone who was just fired. You might also find it useful to hear the perspective of an owner who has had to lay people off or else have every employee lose their job. For instance, I doubt someone got "bonused" for firing you. They likely simply got to keep their job.
My wife and I are not business owners, but we are still human and know that most of the people we’ve laid off over the years have loved ones who depend on them, worked hard, are bummed out and looking for reasons, etc. We would have resigned if someone offered us a bonus for letting people go. I remember once, many years ago, at a company that traveled internationally a lot, a group of us middle managers saying that we’d travel coach and book inexpensive hotels if we could reduce the layoff list a bit; upper management scoffed at the offer.

The ONLY time I have not minded shooting someone is if they 1. Didn’t work hard or 2. Took credit for someone else’s work.

OP, the silver lining is that getting laid off will have ZERO STIGMA at this time, since you have so much company.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
simas
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by simas »

White Coat Investor wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:44 am It's threads like this that make me very thankful to own my job. I don't think I could ever be an employee again. Your business might fail, but you'll never fire yourself unexpectedly.

It's useful to business owners to hear the perspective of someone who was just fired. You might also find it useful to hear the perspective of an owner who has had to lay people off or else have every employee lose their job. For instance, I doubt someone got "bonused" for firing you. They likely simply got to keep their job.
if even that... I think OP posted that all of his senior management already lost their jobs and middle management was on the way out. and CEO lost theirs as well..
the way
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by the way »

moneywise3 wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:54 pm It hurt that they had employee meetings right after firing us. Then Engineering group meeting, followed by department wise meetings - all to console the employees that are still employed!! The fired ones were not given an opportunity to say anything. The middle management that was friendly to me until then is not responding to my messages. No clue what criteria was used to decide who to get rid of. There was already a round of performance based layoffs in Feb. My rating as given by my supervisor was "exceeds expectations" (changed to "meets expectations" by a normalizing committee). Since then I had voluntarily taken up additional responsibility. The severance I am offered is pittance - the lowest I've heard of in my 20 year career. Last year I left a job of 8 years where my severance benefit would've been 16-20 weeks. Tomorrow is Monday morning, and I am heart-broken.

I believe it was no fault of mine and nothing I could’ve done would have prevented this. It may be insecurity of some that they recommended I be let go. I may have been the highest paid in my group since I’m most experienced by far, but only slightly higher paid. Although my salary was the lowest I’ve had in the last 7 years.
I'm surprised if this is your first experience with layoffs after a 20 year IT career. I've seen it dozens of times across multiple companies with an identical script (watch the George Clooney movie where he does layoffs for a living). My first experience was kind of shocking where rounds would occur every few months and people would just be gone the next day. It felt like a war movie. Eventually the company was shutdown and everyone was let go, but by then it was expected.

Much later when working for a mega-corp, they were downsizing like crazy. Thousands of layoffs a year with entire 50-person teams ended. My project dwindled 25% at a time until it was finally off-shored. I took the severance and called it a day.

Why did you take a pay cut and leave a stable job after 8 years? I assume there was some stock incentive. That's why it's called the risk/reward ratio. You are seeing how it often plays out. Layoffs also tend to occur LIFO.

I don't have any experience with suing, but if you are over 50 or a minority, you have protected status. If you can prove the layoff targeted your protected group disproportionately, you might have a case. When I left the megacorp, the exit packet even contained a demographic breakdown of who got laid off. They really understood how the game was played.

Finally, look up the WARN Act and see if this layoff qualifies. They are required to give a minimum amount of severance in that case.
rich126
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by rich126 »

Pomegranate wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:10 am
Sorry to hear that...
Being a low level manager I can tell you that for upper leadership IC’s are nothing but numbers in excel. They have 0 feelings for mass hiring or mass layoffs. If you didn’t watch The Platform (2019) I highly recommend it to you
How far away from FI are you?
[/quote]

That is largely true. Someone once told me that the seniors (upper management) simply view everyone as FTE (full time equivalents). He said he wasn't trying to be cruel but just wanted me to know how things are viewed at the upper level. They don't see any difference between one FTE and the other. And anyone who has worked in tech realize there is a HUGE difference in employees. One person can get 2X, 5X, 10X more work done than some but that rarely translated to upper management in many companies.

At a government job (won't mention the agency), HR kept claiming there was no hiring/retention issues due to the huge, and it was huge, number of applicants. No one could convince HR that quantity does not mean quality. People were appling because they wanted a safe government job and many of those didn't want a job that required work and effort.
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BogleFanGal
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by BogleFanGal »

Stef wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:20 am
Stormbringer wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:33 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:12 pm The American employer-employee relationship is all about business. There are neither friends nor foes. It is all about interest. For the case of an at-will employment, either party, employer or employee, is free to terminate the employment. Take a severance if any or the best one if negotiable and move on.
In early 2009, a friend of mine, who was in sales for an automotive supplier, got called into corporate for a meeting. He drove across two states, and they sat him at a table with HR and fired him. They took the keys to his company car, his mobile phone, and marched him to the door, stranding him in the parking lot about 300 miles from home.
Holy cow. This is just unimaginable in Europe. Something like this would result in a gigantic media backlash that would put the company out of business.
That's pretty unusual even for cold hearted US employers. 2009 was a diff world - today, social media is a powerful weapon in exposing heartless companies...it's much easier to embarrass them now - and if they treated me that way, I would. (I've been laid off due to a merger, but it was all done respectfully and I ended up consulting for them after.)

If I could hammer one thing into new grads' heads after college...priority 1 is to build and grow a "#$&$ you" fund in case one needs to escape a bad situation or something like this happens. And never take work situations personally.

I know this doesn't sound very supportive, but the idea, as I often read and one poster earlier even mentioned, that a job loss is as devastating as losing one's parent? I just can't wrap my brain around that in this day and age - maybe in 1950. I was never and would never be that emotionally invested in a job of all things. I don't mean to discount or diminish others' feelings on this...it just seems very skewed to me personally.
"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen." Mark Twain
Stick5vw
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by Stick5vw »

Lots of great advice on here. I have also sadly seen layoffs happen numerous times, and almost always it becomes quite an emotional process for all involved - obviously for the people unfortunately let go, but also those left behind (including higher-ups) who often are fighting for their own survival as the dust settles. It can be cutthroat and downright toxic when re-orgs happen like this. So being emotional (like we're reading in your post) is understandable, but ultimately can be counter productive. You need to start looking forward.

Who knows how it all went down (and at this stage don't even bother trying to figure it out) - your boss (or someone far above him) was may well have been told to find cost savings at short notice. Headcount is usually the first to go. Do not take it personally: it's possible to simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time and with the wrong job. Companies all over the place are struggling and are making workers redundant. This decision is not a reflection of your abilities.

Do not sue the company unless something truly egregious happened here, which as others have said is a waste of time - they will definitely have done this in such a way to be airtight from a legal perspective.

You have not included anything here re: your finances. Do you have an emergency fund etc? Now is the time to do a deep dive on your expenses. Where is the fat which can be trimmed? Every penny counts. Use this as a sense check of all things financial and what your risk tolerance truly is.

Take a deep breath, and get back to the grindstone after clearing your head. You WILL get through this!
snowman
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by snowman »

the way wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:05 pm I'm surprised if this is your first experience with layoffs after a 20 year IT career. I've seen it dozens of times across multiple companies with an identical script (watch the George Clooney movie where he does layoffs for a living). My first experience was kind of shocking where rounds would occur every few months and people would just be gone the next day. It felt like a war movie. Eventually the company was shutdown and everyone was let go, but by then it was expected.

Much later when working for a mega-corp, they were downsizing like crazy. Thousands of layoffs a year with entire 50-person teams ended. My project dwindled 25% at a time until it was finally off-shored. I took the severance and called it a day.

Why did you take a pay cut and leave a stable job after 8 years? I assume there was some stock incentive. That's why it's called the risk/reward ratio. You are seeing how it often plays out. Layoffs also tend to occur LIFO.

I don't have any experience with suing, but if you are over 50 or a minority, you have protected status. If you can prove the layoff targeted your protected group disproportionately, you might have a case. When I left the megacorp, the exit packet even contained a demographic breakdown of who got laid off. They really understood how the game was played.

Finally, look up the WARN Act and see if this layoff qualifies. They are required to give a minimum amount of severance in that case.
Just read through entire thread, there is some excellent advise for the OP, but this post really resonated with me, especially the first paragraph. My first professional job in this country, in the 90s, this was my exact experience. It definitely felt like a war movie. Eventually company got sold, and 2 years after "merger" the whole company went under.

The next company I joined had first round of layoffs 5 months after coming on-board. Another one 3 months later, another one a month later. Each time, I remember many poor souls being laid off crying and completely in shock, as if it was something unexpected. Left that company one week before declaring bankruptcy and everyone was let go at that time.

Next company was huge and very stable (at least compared to its major competitors). But all it took was a piece of legislation in Congress to deregulate part of industry, and boom - semi-annual rounds of layoffs arrived. And again - same shocked faces, hurt feelings and utter disbelief! Those people heard about layoffs, but for some unknown reason to me believed what the management told them at rah rah meetings and felt their jobs are safe. Never understood that.

Advise I gave to my kids is to never attach yourself emotionally to any company (unless it's yours), and to never trust what the management tells you. Build your EF from day 1 after college! And be prepared that every day you show up at work may be your last day. Save large portion of your income so that later on you have choices most of your co-workers will not have. You will thank me later, whether I am still around or not.
sawhorse
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by sawhorse »

mathwhiz wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:54 am As the suits say, never let a good crisis go to waste.

A lot of employers are considering drastic layoffs and right sizing their organization under the pretense and cover of corona virus, including companies that have been poorly run for years especially larger retailers that they think now is a good time to get rid of long term debt obligations under possible bankruptcy.

This trend will continue.
I suspect this as well. Ironic that employees, including those who barely make minimum wage, are supposed to have 3-6 months in an emergency fund, yet corporations can't handle a few weeks of a shutdown.
downshiftme
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by downshiftme »

Thank you for such an open and honest post about your layoff experience. With something like 22 million unemployment claims in the last 4 weeks, you can be sure that many other people are experiencing similar situations.

It hurts to think that management has lied to employees, and even more so that specific individuals you thought you had a good relationship with, either hid this situation, or outright lied about it to you. Unfortunately this is very common in business. Companies encourage secrecy when planning layoffs and virtually all of them will tell outright falsehoods in the interest of preserving that secrecy. This is so common that you will need to work on getting over your upset. It won't help you, except if you use it for motivation to hustle for a new job, and it can hurt your interviewing skills.

Almost all companies are very savvy about what is and isn't legally allowed when laying off staff. Even if the real objective is to terminate older employees (a protected class) any HR person or company lawyer will be likely to understand how to cover their tracks and how to nullify any claims you might be considering. Unless there was some truly egregious behavior, and nothing in your description sounds like there was, you will only waste time and money trying to pursue a claim that will likely fail. Almost always your best option is to accept the severance, negotiate if you want although that has a low chance of success, and move on. It may be worth your peace of mind to consult with a local employment lawyer and get a real assessment of your potential claims under local laws. But don't expect there is much possible. It's a very unusual situation that a company leaves itself open to a viable claim in a layoff.

Florida is notoriously stingy with unemployment compensation, both in amounts paid and duration of claims. Being laid off during the pandemic will help with both of these as your weekly claim will be boosted by $600 and your claim duration will be extended.

Because so many other people are also out of work, the job search may be especially challenging. In the 2008 recession and in the dot-com bust, lots of capable ex-employees were chasing the same few job openings. People who moved more quickly and who were willing to accept lateral or slightly less positions generally did much better than people who held out for better jobs and endured long periods of unemployment before capitulating to accept lateral or slightly less positions. The sooner you can find new work, the sooner you can advance within that new company.

Depending on your relationship with your previous employer, contacting people you know there, or other people you know who have moved on to other companies, may be your best option for finding work in an economic downturn.

Advice to try to maintain a positive mental outlook and to take time to improve health and fitness is spot on. Both will help with your overall experience and with your job search.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by Sandtrap »

White Coat Investor wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:44 am It's threads like this that make me very thankful to own my job. I don't think I could ever be an employee again. Your business might fail, but you'll never fire yourself unexpectedly.

It's useful to business owners to hear the perspective of someone who was just fired. You might also find it useful to hear the perspective of an owner who has had to lay people off or else have every employee lose their job. For instance, I doubt someone got "bonused" for firing you. They likely simply got to keep their job.
+1
Being laid off/fired was such a horrible feeling, and to have ones livelyhood in jeopardy at anytime, worse. Thus motivated me into business where I found I was a far better leader and a lousy employee. I resolved to never be laid off again. Ever.
Although I have gotten pretty close to firing myself a number of times😬😬

OP: Have you ever considered working for yourself?

j🌺
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bdpb
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by bdpb »

moneywise3 wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:54 pm 1. I'm hurt, deeply hurt. I was lied to and someone got rid of me to look good, and maybe earn a bonus. The trust I had on small company management, as compared to mega-corps, has been shaken. How do these wounds heal?
5. Do I stand a chance if I decide to sue them? I will refuse to sign the severance agreement, and use their narrative in the town-hall and the fact they are still hiring at least one person against them. Q1 and March sales was decent. My performance was good - just few weeks ago they paid me a decent bonus.
Not sure how small the company is or how many employees affected but you might look into the WARN act. Potentially, they may have to provide at least ~60 days of severance and/or leave you on the payroll that long. Although, with the COVID19 stuff going on, the WARN act obligations may be in flux.

Let me tell you, mega-corps are no better (although they may be more obligated to the WARN act). I have a similar but worse story I could tell you if you'd like to hear it. Stuff like, "Oh, by the way, you need to train all these people everything you know in the next 60 days".
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moneywise3
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by moneywise3 »

Thank you all for the responses. I've been reading and re-reading them - even taking notes and action items out of these. Blessed to be part of this group.
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steve roy
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by steve roy »

I served as a union rep for years, working for a labor organization that covered animation artists in cartoon studios like Disney, Warner Bros, DreamWorks, etc. I was in the studios a lot, and what I observed was, the suits almost always made a big show of holding a meeting to reassure staff that "their jobs were safe, we have lots of work" when they knew big layoffs were imminent.

This happened multiple times. I half-joked with artists: "If the production manager and Vice-President come down to tell you your job has another year-and-a-half to run, that there's lots of shows to do, start looking for other work."
EnjoyIt
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by EnjoyIt »

White Coat Investor wrote: Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:44 am It's threads like this that make me very thankful to own my job. I don't think I could ever be an employee again. Your business might fail, but you'll never fire yourself unexpectedly.

It's useful to business owners to hear the perspective of someone who was just fired. You might also find it useful to hear the perspective of an owner who has had to lay people off or else have every employee lose their job. For instance, I doubt someone got "bonused" for firing you. They likely simply got to keep their job.
It is threads like these that hopefully inspire people for early financial security. Just having enough assets available so that one can bare bones retire can make a huge difference in scenarios like these.

Moneywise,
Not sure how much income you have made so far this year, but you can look for health insurance via healthcare.gov. If the worst case happens and you don't find employment quickly, there is a possibility for a large subsidy. You would need an Adjusted income of less than 400% of poverty level in your area. If you find new employment pretty quickly then you should be able to cover the cost of this temporary insurance.
Also, as others have said, don't take in personally, they had to let some people go and you were one of them. Don't burn bridges, take tour severance and move on.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
phxjcc
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by phxjcc »

Been there.
It is a helpless feeling.

There is this Pollyanna/Hollywood/Puritan-work-ethic myth of "work hard, do a good job--and you will get rewarded...or at least be able to keep your job."

It is a myth.
You now know that.

Nice little kids get cancer.
Good people get killed in accidents.
People with great future potential are killed in wars.

You got laid off.
Mourn for a day.

Then, get up at your regular time, have your coffee, take a shower, shave, then start your new job...looking for a job.
Call everybody, ask them for two names, call them, etc.
Take a lunch break.
Then start again.

One of the best qualities of people is their desire to help others.
Like....Bob Stevenson?
You remember...that good looking former QB at State U., the one that looked like Clooney and that you worked on the National account with but were always a little uneasy around. He left your place to work at Allied, right?
Call him. NOW, before Marv does, because Marv will.

Go get 'em.
...and when some guy that you used to work with calls you, take the call, you might be his Bob Stevenson.
DonIce
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by DonIce »

moneywise3 wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:54 pm 1. I'm hurt, deeply hurt. I was lied to and someone got rid of me to look good, and maybe earn a bonus. The trust I had on small company management, as compared to mega-corps, has been shaken. How do these wounds heal?
2. I'm in FL, and have applied for Reemployment assistance. The application shows complete, but even no acknowledgement email from them.
3. Any pointers on how to get health insurance for my family.
4. I work in the field of embedded software. Any hints about job search.
5. Do I stand a chance if I decide to sue them? I will refuse to sign the severance agreement, and use their narrative in the town-hall and the fact they are still hiring at least one person against them. Q1 and March sales was decent. My performance was good - just few weeks ago they paid me a decent bonus.
Ok I'm gonna take a different tack than most of the posters in this thread.

First, you seem to be pointedly ignoring the elephant in the room... the coronavirus. You honestly think that your layoff was over someone not liking you or whatever, and not because of the same thing that's caused ~15-20% of the US workforce to be laid off in the matter of a couple of weeks? Take a step back and just realize you are one of 30 million people that got laid off cause the economy just took a sudden and unexpected nosedive. Whether that was because of actual financial trouble at the company or just the executive suite waiting for a proper excuse to do cuts doesn't matter. You said yourself you weren't the only one laid off. It's not about you.

Second, no, don't sue them. Your employment really was at will. You only have a chance of winning if you can demonstrate that your employment was terminated because of discrimination against you based on your being a member of a protected class (i.e. due to race, gender, etc). Unless this is the case (unlikely since you didn't mention it), just take the severance and move on like a normal person.

Third, you're an embedded software engineer. Literally one of the most in demand and highly compensated professions in existence right now. Put your emotions behind you, get on leetcode and brush up on your interview skills, and you'll have another job paying $200-500k in no time, even in this economy, assuming you're any good.

Being laid off sucks but time to pick yourself up by the bootstraps and all that. You aren't some minimum wage worker who's barely getting by and needs help and sympathy; you're a top 1%er with an opportunity to make a career move.
rivendell
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Re: Laid off!!

Post by rivendell »

moneywise3 wrote: Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:54 pm I was laid off on Fri along with a group of colleagues by our newly hired CEO. A bunch of us - across different sites and disciplines - were asked to call in a number on a short notice. The call was a monologue by the CEO that if you’re on this call, your job is being terminated as of today. You’ll have email access until this evening if you want to send a goodbye email to colleagues. Now we will end this call. The call lasted 3 minutes.
Last week in the town-hall we were assured our jobs are safe, and the company is going to make it through the tough times. They have had discussions with the investors, bankers and the board.

It is supposed to be "employment at will", but also seems to be "lying at will". Not being part of any insider clubs, I had to go by what I was told. Talked to two other colleagues that were let go - their first reaction without my prodding was management had lied to us.

It hurt that they had employee meetings right after firing us. Then Engineering group meeting, followed by department wise meetings - all to console the employees that are still employed!! The fired ones were not given an opportunity to say anything. The middle management that was friendly to me until then is not responding to my messages. No clue what criteria was used to decide who to get rid of. There was already a round of performance based layoffs in Feb. My rating as given by my supervisor was "exceeds expectations" (changed to "meets expectations" by a normalizing committee). Since then I had voluntarily taken up additional responsibility. The severance I am offered is pittance - the lowest I've heard of in my 20 year career. Last year I left a job of 8 years where my severance benefit would've been 16-20 weeks. Tomorrow is Monday morning, and I am heart-broken.

I believe it was no fault of mine and nothing I could’ve done would have prevented this. It may be insecurity of some that they recommended I be let go. I may have been the highest paid in my group since I’m most experienced by far, but only slightly higher paid. Although my salary was the lowest I’ve had in the last 7 years.

They kept hiring up until December. All the senior management was replaced/reassigned in Q1 of this year. In fact, a new middle manager is starting tomorrow.

My questions are around these areas, although am still so fuzzy:

1. I'm hurt, deeply hurt. I was lied to and someone got rid of me to look good, and maybe earn a bonus. The trust I had on small company management, as compared to mega-corps, has been shaken. How do these wounds heal?
2. I'm in FL, and have applied for Reemployment assistance. The application shows complete, but even no acknowledgement email from them.
3. Any pointers on how to get health insurance for my family.
4. I work in the field of embedded software. Any hints about job search.
5. Do I stand a chance if I decide to sue them? I will refuse to sign the severance agreement, and use their narrative in the town-hall and the fact they are still hiring at least one person against them. Q1 and March sales was decent. My performance was good - just few weeks ago they paid me a decent bonus.
I have been following this thread and was glad to see you had returned and read the posts. They have lots of good points and advice.

1. Business is not about trust at all now days; maybe it never was. This was not personal; you were just a number on a spreadsheet. Moving forward take a more mercenary approach to employment and realize they pay you for value received and you work for a sufficient amount of money in return. Don't feel hurt as they were not personal friends. You were probably selected because you were the most highly compensated.
2. Be relentless in dealing with unemployment. Call and email until you are certain they have your application and all necessary documentation. Be certain to obtain the $600 a week pandemic funds as well. State unemployment departments are overwhelmed with applications. This is your new job. A relative recently laid off in another state spent about 25+ hours dealing with her unemployment situation to be sure all documentation was completed. Good luck! :happy
3. Cobra or ACA. Other posters had good points on this. Once you decide on one of these again follow up with them to be certain everything is completed before any deadlines arrive. Don't assume they will contact you.
4. Network and Linked in. You sound talented and hardworking and have a needed skill set; I bet you will find another job. If you can freelance or work as a contractor for government agency consider starting your own company. Then maybe you can trust your boss!
5. Suing them is almost certainly a waste of your time and energy; they have attorneys at the ready. Unless your are in a special class and this was discrimination, it is probably best to take the severance and move forward
Hopefully you have a solid emergency fund and supportive friends and family.

You can thrive despite this. It is important to maintain a daily routine and take good care of yourself. Exercise and eat and sleep well. Stay positive. We are all cheering you on! :sharebeer
“On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.” | ― Chuck Palahniuk
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