Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

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imyeti2
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Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by imyeti2 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:58 pm

Hello,

We have an interesting situation here.

DW had a senior position in consulting company and is not billable. However, because of her very strong expertise, she is a valuable employee and has the ability to bring in business and influence clients.

DW was called this morning and notified that she was terminated (with 4 months of severance). When she reached out to other senior individuals in her company who she works with, everyone was shocked and there seems to be some back channel communication reaching all the way up to the COO that she needs to be retained. This is not a small company but something with revenues of $3-4 B. The company could potentially lose clients and millions of dollars in business (atleast that's what we're being told)

Within few hours, she now get a call from the head of HR saying this was a mistake and they normally make sure to review each and every employee before termination etc. I think this is just an excuse.

DW has now been asked what it would take to come back (or rather stay). DW was recently responsible for bringing in multi million client business. She also has some restricted stock from several years ago when she joined that is still vesting.

How do we negotiate our way back? Any thoughts.

Thanks.
Yeti.

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8foot7
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:13 pm

They mistakenly laid her off and then on the same day want her back? Talk about a professional and emotional whirlwind.

I'd be looking for a large one-time signing bonus and potentially also a contract/commitment. Since they were willing to give her four months' severance, that would be the minimum bonus I'd want to return. I'd also want that restricted stock vested immediately as they've clearly already tried to take that away by laying her off once.

Otherwise if she is that valuable she could probably find other work very quickly.

But don't give a number first. Ask them how they plan to make this right. You may be surprised at their offer.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Raymond
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Re: Need Help - DW Terminated and now Company says it was a mistake

Post by Raymond » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:14 pm

"A mistake"?

Whose idea was it to let your wife go in the first place? HR, or someone in your wife's chain of command?

Whoever it is, maybe *they* need to take a hike...

If she wants to go back, maybe it's time for a big pay raise, immediate vesting in the stock, the mind can go wild with the possibilities :greedy

[Edit] Or maybe it's a sign she should open her own consulting firm.
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:21 pm

A million dollars in unmarked 20's

getaway car

And the letter "M" stricken from the english language


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BanditKing
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by BanditKing » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:23 pm

I'd start with a good "financial apology" for that kind of hell.

Realistically, vest all the stock, a solid cash bonus (enough for a nice vacation - $5-10k maybe?) and maybe some stock options. A promotion, at least in title, isn't unwarranted either.

DW should also take this as a warning sign, get her resume and contacts up to speed, and be ready to deal if the axe comes around again.

corysold
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by corysold » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:23 pm

Does she still want to work there now?

Would she be able to find a similar job elsewhere quickly?

First you have to figure out how much leverage she has and go from there.

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samsoes
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by samsoes » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:23 pm

That company sounds like a real cluster-mess. :mrgreen:

She should take any severance offered and go work for the competition.
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Olemiss540
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Olemiss540 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:32 pm

samsoes wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:23 pm
That company sounds like a real cluster-mess. :mrgreen:

She should take any severance offered and go work for the competition.
She should also see if she can find a microphone in the building so she can drop it on her way out :twisted:

I would want my severance as well as a raise. Take it as she has been fired and they are trying to rehire her. How long has she worked for this company? Now she can be paid a salary while working to find a new job on her off time. If she is as valuable as you say, should be very easy to get a 20% increase in pay....
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Darth Xanadu » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:39 pm

I would agree to go back if there was a retention agreement put in place, you know, "in case this happens again". So you pay me $x in 2 years, but if you terminate me without cause before then you still pay me $x, at time of termination.

Message is, if you really want me back, I need assurances I won't get canned in 2 months again.
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:45 pm

Does your wife want to go back?

If your wife is responsible for millions of dollars in revenue, then they have the pockets to pay her. Obviously, they showed little loyalty to her, she's just a number.

If she does, this little "oopsie" needs to sting HR back into reality ---> you can ask for a guaranteed upfront signing bonus, you can ask for accelerated vesting, you can ask for anything you'd like including a big fat raise (that is where the upfront signing bonus comes too), you can ask for a 1 year guarantee - if she is let go for any reason at all, she receives 1 years salary payout + severance.
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inbox788
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by inbox788 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:55 pm

Angela?

https://9to5mac.com/2019/02/06/angela-a ... il-future/

I wouldn't be too greedy. Just take the severance package, vest all the remaining stocks and getting back on track with a 5% increase in salary should be enough.
Last edited by inbox788 on Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wandering_aimlessly
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by wandering_aimlessly » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:58 pm

Before she figures out the financial piece she might want to figure out other details (especially if she is interested in returning). I basically agree with the "I would let them put the financial stake in the ground approach" that was mentioned earlier...you're still guessing at a lot in the value question and letting them state it will help in determining how close you are.

The bigger issue could well be what happened. This may be a complete mistake or it may have just revealed someone in her chain of command has a pretty big axe to grind (and just assumed the organization would let it happen). Does she really just want to go back into that meat grinder? The COO may have saved her but what if they aren't there next time? - the perpetrator might just have learned they need to be better at having their ducks in a row before they do it again. Working in a different group might be worth more than a financial apology.

Also keep in mind it is easy for those of us armchair quarterbacking - to say the price to return is "a thousand years salary and their head on a silver platter" - indignation is a national pastime these days - but we won't feel the pain when the company views the request as outrageous and counter with a "no".

PVW
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by PVW » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:00 pm

imyeti2 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:58 pm
DW was called this morning and notified that she was terminated (with 4 months of severance).
Is this a typo or did they really notify her of termination over the phone?

If she still wants to keep her job, I'd ask for an employment contract that guarantees a severance payout if she is ever terminated without cause. Start with asking for 1 year salary and immediate vesting of options and restricted stock, then see what they say. As for immediate financial rewards, I'd take whatever they offered, but not make any additional demands for bonus or raise.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:31 pm

If there is a pension plan you want to check what it has to say about break in service. Many would ignore a short break, but some might move you from tier I to tier II or whatever.

If there is an expensive 401(k) you might take advantage and roll it to a IRA while you're negotiating. :twisted:

MikeZ
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by MikeZ » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:04 pm

If they want her back, ask why she was consider to be laid off in the first place.

Yes I understand it was a 'mistake' but tell me the criteria that let me being considered being laid off in the first place? I would like to stay but I need to understand why this happened in the first place to make sure I'm still a good fit in everyone's eyes.

I would look at this as a test of the character of those involved in evaluating their response.

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beyou
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by beyou » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:32 pm

Regarding the many suggestions to negotiate to get the restricted stock vested sooner, that is not likely an option.
If you are in a company plan, the plan is usually governed by rules and an annual contract you sign, that dictates what happens and when.
The good news is that you may not lose the stock even if laid off, my firm in recent years modified our annual agreement such that you do not lose the stock when laid off, only rule is about disparaging the former employer. If you quit and go to a competitor, you lose the stock. They have the vesting to have some control over your mouth and ability to compete. But if you get the stock anyway, why negotiate to keep it ? You likely would not lose it.
Now if she stays and hates it, and wants to defect to a competitor, that is why they prefer not to vest sooner.

I would ask for a one time CASH bonus equivalent to the severance and be done with it.
A job is not for life, they can change their mind again tomorrow if they like, few get guarantees.
That said, you can ask for a contract for X years instead of/in addition to a one time bonus.
Just note there will have to be loopholes (like she shows up to work etc), but you need to make sure they are worded fairly.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Chicago60 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:52 pm

I generally disagree with the above suggestions, and here is why: As I understand it, your spouse (and you) had a brutally emotional day being told she was terminated, and then learning that many in the organization value her services and want her to stay. The first question is, as many point out, does she want to stay given the circumstances, and for how long. Assuming she does, I think the above suggestions may backfire on her. Other than the emotional roller coaster she and you had today, she is financially, and employably, in the exact same position now as she was 24 hours ago. Asking for the 4 months severance, vesting of options immediately, a $100,000 bonus, etc are all great to ask for, but maybe someone in the organization who made the decision to terminate her, might think she is trying to take advantage of the situation. This person might think she should really be thankful she still has her job. I would be inclined to inform HR or the necessary people that she'd like to hear from management what they think is a fair offer from them to appease her and keep her.

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cockersx3
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by cockersx3 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:09 pm

samsoes wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:23 pm
That company sounds like a real cluster-mess. :mrgreen:

She should take any severance offered and go work for the competition.
That's what my thought was as well. She's got 4 months of severance, right? If she has that much of an impact in her current organization, it's reasonable to think other companies would want that expertise and be willing to pay for it. I would pocket the severance, hit up my network for job leads, and go from there.

Besides, I'm not sure I would want to continue to work for an organization that ACCIDENTALLY terminated me. This suggest that the internal controls at this organization over basic business processes - eg, hiring and firing - are fundamentally flawed.

I'm also very surprised that they are allowing her to keep the severance - would have expected the company to withdraw the offer once the decision was reversed. Is the severance still on the table?

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2pedals
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by 2pedals » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:23 pm

Was it just an heads up phone call to start the termination process but was not officially laid off? So if she wasn't laid off and wants to quit she doesn't get 4 months of severance, right?

megabad
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by megabad » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:29 pm

Ok here's the deal. First hand, I can tell you that mistakes like this do actually happen in large relatively orderly companies. If it really was a mistake, than I would maybe give them the benefit of the doubt if she wants to continue working there. I would, as another poster suggested, put the onus on them if they wish to offer something and simply have spouse indicate that it was an emotional rollercoaster and very stressful (no specific demands).

In general, most employees should know deep down if something like this really was a mistake. In a $4 billion company, layoffs are typically not mysteries. Normally a huge swath of employees gets cut, so either you have a specific job function that was on the chopping block or you were an underperformer. If it wasn't really a mistake (just someone pulling strings to get her back), than I would line up some other job options quickly (and politely). I can tell you from experience, if your name was on round 1 layoffs and you skirted by, than you are also going to be on round 2 (if there is one) and you may not survive.

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Watty
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Watty » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:34 pm

Especially at that level it is real unusual for someone to be fired over the phone. I have even heard of people that worked remotely being flow in, or a manager flying in to their town to lay them off in person so that they could be laid off face to face,
imyeti2 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:58 pm
The company could potentially lose clients and millions of dollars in business (atleast that's what we're being told)

Within few hours, she now get a call from the head of HR saying this was a mistake and they normally make sure to review each and every employee before termination etc. I think this is just an excuse.
The mistake could have been that they did not transition the important clients away from her before firing her. In six months they may have done that and she may be more expendable then.

They may also not have followed all their internal procedures to protect themselves from a age or sex discrimination lawsuit.

I have not worked at that level but if she know the COO very well she might just talk to that person in a one on one meeting to figure out where she stands. I would be cautious about making demands and wait to see what they offer.

She might also want to discreetly talk to a lawyer to figure out just where she stands legally.
Last edited by Watty on Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

slalom
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by slalom » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:34 pm

If she got a call that fast, she's probably not technically terminated yet, which means she doesn't need to get re-hired?

That would kind of change things, IMO.

123
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by 123 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:35 pm

To rejoin the company she should receive:
1. Immediate and complete payment of the promised severance package, including cash-out for medical and other "free" benefits
2. Signon bonus equal to six months salary.
3. Employment contract with 5 year period guarantee. If they terminate employment in next 5 years they have to payout the balance of the salary due for the 5 year period.
4. Twelve months before the end of the 5 year period they have to negotiate any contract extension they want. If an extension agreement is not completed and signed by six months before the end of the current contract it is assumed that her services end at the conclusion of the contract and she is free to immediately seek alternative employment.

She should expect to compensated handsomely due to the anxiety the company has needlessly cast upon her.
Last edited by 123 on Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Cosmo » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:39 pm

Chicago60 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:52 pm
I generally disagree with the above suggestions, and here is why: As I understand it, your spouse (and you) had a brutally emotional day being told she was terminated, and then learning that many in the organization value her services and want her to stay. The first question is, as many point out, does she want to stay given the circumstances, and for how long. Assuming she does, I think the above suggestions may backfire on her. Other than the emotional roller coaster she and you had today, she is financially, and employably, in the exact same position now as she was 24 hours ago. Asking for the 4 months severance, vesting of options immediately, a $100,000 bonus, etc are all great to ask for, but maybe someone in the organization who made the decision to terminate her, might think she is trying to take advantage of the situation. This person might think she should really be thankful she still has her job. I would be inclined to inform HR or the necessary people that she'd like to hear from management what they think is a fair offer from them to appease her and keep her.
^This.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by KlangFool » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:44 pm

imyeti2 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:58 pm

DW was called this morning and notified that she was terminated (with 4 months of severance). When she reached out to other senior individuals in her company who she works with, everyone was shocked and there seems to be some back channel communication reaching all the way up to the COO that she needs to be retained. This is not a small company but something with revenues of $3-4 B. The company could potentially lose clients and millions of dollars in business (atleast that's what we're being told)
Yeti,

If she goes back, she loses 4 months of severance pay. So, they need to give her a lot more than 4 months of severance pay for her to go back. Let's start with two years of pay for sign on bonus as the basis of negotiation.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by KlangFool » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:49 pm

Chicago60 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:52 pm
I generally disagree with the above suggestions, and here is why: As I understand it, your spouse (and you) had a brutally emotional day being told she was terminated, and then learning that many in the organization value her services and want her to stay. The first question is, as many point out, does she want to stay given the circumstances, and for how long. Assuming she does, I think the above suggestions may backfire on her. Other than the emotional roller coaster she and you had today, she is financially, and employably, in the exact same position now as she was 24 hours ago. Asking for the 4 months severance, vesting of options immediately, a $100,000 bonus, etc are all great to ask for, but maybe someone in the organization who made the decision to terminate her, might think she is trying to take advantage of the situation. This person might think she should really be thankful she still has her job. I would be inclined to inform HR or the necessary people that she'd like to hear from management what they think is a fair offer from them to appease her and keep her.
Chicago60,

<< but maybe someone in the organization who made the decision to terminate her, might think she is trying to take advantage of the situation. >>

So what? She should make this as painful as possible and get that person fired. She has absolutely nothing to lose.

KlangFool

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hornet96
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by hornet96 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:53 pm

Chicago60 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:52 pm
Asking for the 4 months severance, vesting of options immediately, a $100,000 bonus, etc are all great to ask for, but maybe someone in the organization who made the decision to terminate her, might think she is trying to take advantage of the situation.
As well she should. The level of utter incompetence of HR departments at virtually every company is rarely, if ever, penalized. They made a colossal mistake in this case, and should be held accountable in a proportionate fashion. If they seriously risked the loss of millions of dollars in business for this company, she should have a ton of leverage in these negotiations. For an employee like this, the lay-off decision should have gone through multiple reviews to be absolutely sure no mistakes would be made. Since they have now shown their hand, the fair value of her services just went up dramatically.

Good luck to the OP.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by azianbob » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:08 pm

As them first what they will offer. If they just offer the same job back at the same salary, they obviously do not value you. Take the severance and look for a new job. Like in all negotiations, the one who speaks first loses.

Unless she is very very close to vesting, then maybe go back to get that.

Also, if the upper managment didn't know her value, it probably means her superiors are taking the credit (and the monetary rewards) for her success. She should consider that.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by stoptothink » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:15 pm

123 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:35 pm
To rejoin the company she should receive:
1. Immediate and complete payment of the promised severance package, including cash-out for medical and other "free" benefits
2. Signon bonus equal to six months salary.
3. Employment contract with 5 year period guarantee. If they terminate employment in next 5 years they have to payout the balance of the salary due for the 5 year period.
4. Twelve months before the end of the 5 year period they have to negotiate any contract extension they want. If an extension agreement is not completed and signed by six months before the end of the current contract it is assumed that her services end at the conclusion of the contract and she is free to immediately seek alternative employment.

She should expect to compensated handsomely due to the anxiety the company has needlessly cast upon her.
Yes, she absolutely should be compensated in some manner, but get real, if OP's wife states this, they'll laugh and then hang-up.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by stan1 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:32 pm

Tough one, could range from "apology accepted" to "I'm taking the 4 months severance so send security to escort me out". What seems a little strange to me is no mention of her supervisory chain and what actions they took. Did they immediately step in to correct it or were they silent? Other senior individuals spoke up for her and the head of HR called, but where were her supervisor or manager? If she stays she should be working for someone who appreciates her work. It sounds like she might not be.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by JBTX » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:00 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:13 pm
They mistakenly laid her off and then on the same day want her back? Talk about a professional and emotional whirlwind.

I'd be looking for a large one-time signing bonus and potentially also a contract/commitment. Since they were willing to give her four months' severance, that would be the minimum bonus I'd want to return. I'd also want that restricted stock vested immediately as they've clearly already tried to take that away by laying her off once.

Otherwise if she is that valuable she could probably find other work very quickly.

But don't give a number first. Ask them how they plan to make this right. You may be surprised at their offer.
Assuming I still wanted to work there I'd probably think along these lines, or at least ask. Also I'd want an honest answer as to where the breakdown was. I don't think layoffs are made "by mistake". Clearly somebody at some level viewed her as expendable. I really wouldn't want to work with a group/ immediate management where I wasn't valued. I'd explore ways to realign things such that she works with/for the people that value her.

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8foot7
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:10 pm

Someone mentioned maybe they can’t accerate the vesting of stock due to plan rules. Fine, but they can grant an equivalent amount of unrestricted stock or pay you the cash value of the stock as if it vested and were sold.

The more I think about this though the more I think your wife should find another job. She should probably also get all of these goodies from current employer and then start her job search immediately. Something kooky is going on here and things have been revealed to her that perhaps she didn’t know before—somewhere along the chain she was seen as dispensable or not having the impact she thought she had. That’s hard to come back from.

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8foot7
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:19 pm

Chicago60 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:52 pm
Other than the emotional roller coaster she and you had today, she is financially, and employably, in the exact same position now as she was 24 hours ago. .... might think she is trying to take advantage of the situation. This person might think she should really be thankful she still has her job
Are you kidding me? She literally got fired today. What should she be thankful for? Losing restricted stock that hasn’t vested yet? Finding out she wasn’t nearly as valued by someone in the org as she should have been? She still doesn’t have a job, not until she agrees to go back.

Getting down on your knees and saying “thank you thank you” to the organization that literally just fired you is exactly the wrong approach.

And if that happens to actually be the attitude of the organization your wife ought to firmly suggest this person or persons find ways of self-reproduction and go get a job with their fiercest direct competitor.

Afty
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Afty » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:19 pm

I would want to find out what really happened, and I'm not sure I would go back to the company under any circumstances. Either they are telling the truth and they really did fire her accidentally, which means the company is seriously incompetent, or someone in her management chain wanted her fired, in which she's going to be working under a dark cloud the rest of the time she's there. Either way this doesn't seem like a company where I'd want to stick around, no matter how much they were willing to pay me.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by gorow » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:49 pm

HR perspective here.
First of all, as others have pointed out, she has not been terminated, only notified that she will be and what the severance will be. Given that they have changed their mind, they could choose to do nothing, apologize for the confusion, and let her decide what her own next steps will be (stay or resign - no severance). If she wants to remain there, I would minimize the asks other than understanding EXACTLY how the "mistake" happened. That is the minimum to provide trust at this point. I have had to notify people that in "x" weeks they will be terminated because their position is being eliminated, and turned around two weeks later to inform them of a placement we have for them and that severance is not on the table. It's not a frequent occurrence, but when it happens most are relieved about this.
At the same time, if the answer to the "how this happened" question is not sufficient, and you are informed severance is no longer an option, I would recommend that she simply continue to do her job and start to develop a plan B that she can put in place if needed. Expecting 4 months pay for a mistaken communication is not a good faith move, in my opinion.
Having said all that, if the company has employment contracts with some employees, it might be worth investigating a contract/promise for vesting of previous grants and employment of at least x months to assure there will not be another reversal in the near future.
Companies are made of people, and people make mistakes. If she doesn't like it there, and they have taken severance off the table, then she might negotiate an "I'll stay for......" proposition. But if she doesn't like it there, this is the opportunity to carve her own path. "Making the company pay" for this goof-up may put a few bucks in your account, but what the company will remember is the grace with which the situation was managed on her part. I know that depends on the culture of the company, so all this has to take that into account as well.
Retired 1/1/2019. Not concerned about sequence of returns because two years here taught me what I need to know.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by EddyB » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:56 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:10 pm
Someone mentioned maybe they can’t accerate the vesting of stock due to plan rules. Fine, but they can grant an equivalent amount of unrestricted stock or pay you the cash value of the stock as if it vested and were sold.

The more I think about this though the more I think your wife should find another job. She should probably also get all of these goodies from current employer and then start her job search immediately. Something kooky is going on here and things have been revealed to her that perhaps she didn’t know before—somewhere along the chain she was seen as dispensable or not having the impact she thought she had. That’s hard to come back from.
If management wants to, it can ask the compensation committee of the board (or whatever serves as the plan administrator) to accelerate vesting. While there may be some accounting consequence to it, there’s no reason the company can’t accelerate vesting of its own equity awards.

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beyou
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by beyou » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:57 pm

gorow wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:49 pm
HR perspective here.
First of all, as others have pointed out, she has not been terminated, only notified that she will be and what the severance will be. Given that they have changed their mind, they could choose to do nothing, apologize for the confusion, and let her decide what her own next steps will be (stay or resign - no severance). If she wants to remain there, I would minimize the asks other than understanding EXACTLY how the "mistake" happened. That is the minimum to provide trust at this point. I have had to notify people that in "x" weeks they will be terminated because their position is being eliminated, and turned around two weeks later to inform them of a placement we have for them and that severance is not on the table. It's not a frequent occurrence, but when it happens most are relieved about this.
At the same time, if the answer to the "how this happened" question is not sufficient, and you are informed severance is no longer an option, I would recommend that she simply continue to do her job and start to develop a plan B that she can put in place if needed. Expecting 4 months pay for a mistaken communication is not a good faith move, in my opinion.
Having said all that, if the company has employment contracts with some employees, it might be worth investigating a contract/promise for vesting of previous grants and employment of at least x months to assure there will not be another reversal in the near future.
Companies are made of people, and people make mistakes. If she doesn't like it there, and they have taken severance off the table, then she might negotiate an "I'll stay for......" proposition. But if she doesn't like it there, this is the opportunity to carve her own path. "Making the company pay" for this goof-up may put a few bucks in your account, but what the company will remember is the grace with which the situation was managed on her part. I know that depends on the culture of the company, so all this has to take that into account as well.
There was a time people went to HR for help with their problems, decades ago. Now employees ARE the problem and HR is there to protect the company from them.

If execs think this employee makes millions for the firm, then they should absolutely share the wealth. If not now, when ?

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by dbr » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:18 am

Who called her? And where is her immediate superior and that person's immediate superior in all this? I don't understand how they seem to be AWOL in this. Something is off base that a person at a significant professional level in a company just gets a phone call that they are terminated. Is there a context that there are reductions in staff or positions eliminated. If this is one single individual just being terminated for no reason there has to be something missing in this story. Most people who lose jobs at the level described have some sort of history leading up to termination.

The significance is that what happened affects what one might best do next. It is important to understand where this came from and why it was done in such a manner.

I have witnessed terminations in an organization, but when it is part of reorganization or reduction in force management explains what is going to happen before phone calls (actually emails) just go out to a random list. I have seen an individual summarily terminated due to what was evidently some sort of fatal malfeasance on the part of that individual. But the actual reasons in those cases are confidential. I have seen one or two cases of termination after a history of dispute between an individual and management.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by 8foot7 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:13 am

gorow wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:49 pm
Expecting 4 months pay for a mistaken communication is not a good faith move, in my opinion.
"Making the company pay" for this goof-up may put a few bucks in your account, but what the company will remember is the grace with which the situation was managed on her part.
They literally fired her.

What a typical HR reaction, looking only at what the company might have to do and having no perspectivr on what might be right for the employee.

In my book, “good faith” (especially if they retract severance) and “grace” in handling a monumental cock-up involving the premature ending of someone’s livelihood go out the window when an employer terminates you involuntarily. Who cares what the company will remember? I’ll remember they fired me by mistake!

It may well be the case that this relationship has been burned. But she should go back and get some goodies for her troubles.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by samsoes » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:25 am

Chicago60 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:52 pm
I generally disagree with the above suggestions, and here is why: As I understand it, your spouse (and you) had a brutally emotional day being told she was terminated, and then learning that many in the organization value her services and want her to stay. The first question is, as many point out, does she want to stay given the circumstances, and for how long. Assuming she does, I think the above suggestions may backfire on her. Other than the emotional roller coaster she and you had today, she is financially, and employably, in the exact same position now as she was 24 hours ago. Asking for the 4 months severance, vesting of options immediately, a $100,000 bonus, etc are all great to ask for, but maybe someone in the organization who made the decision to terminate her, might think she is trying to take advantage of the situation. This person might think she should really be thankful she still has her job. I would be inclined to inform HR or the necessary people that she'd like to hear from management what they think is a fair offer from them to appease her and keep her.
Nonsense. Who cares what someone "might think."

The place is truly a disaster of a clown-car. Insist on the severance amount as a bonus, and give notice the following week.

Get out of that train-wreck of a company as soon as possible.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Bacchus01 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:32 am

EddyB wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:56 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:10 pm
Someone mentioned maybe they can’t accerate the vesting of stock due to plan rules. Fine, but they can grant an equivalent amount of unrestricted stock or pay you the cash value of the stock as if it vested and were sold.

The more I think about this though the more I think your wife should find another job. She should probably also get all of these goodies from current employer and then start her job search immediately. Something kooky is going on here and things have been revealed to her that perhaps she didn’t know before—somewhere along the chain she was seen as dispensable or not having the impact she thought she had. That’s hard to come back from.
If management wants to, it can ask the compensation committee of the board (or whatever serves as the plan administrator) to accelerate vesting. While there may be some accounting consequence to it, there’s no reason the company can’t accelerate vesting of its own equity awards.
Setting the precedent would be a bad idea.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by jharkin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:32 am

wandering_aimlessly wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:58 pm
Also keep in mind it is easy for those of us armchair quarterbacking - to say the price to return is "a thousand years salary and their head on a silver platter" - indignation is a national pastime these days - but we won't feel the pain when the company views the request as outrageous and counter with a "no".
+1000
I would tread carefully here. Its easy for anonymous strangers on the internet to strut all kind of big talk that you should walk in there making demands like your name is Bill Gates. They are not the ones with their livelihood on the line - you are.

Start with something noncommittal like "I really would like to stay but this whole experience makes me nervous about my future in the organization. What are you proposing"... Then see what they say.

If they end up offering anything decent to stay I would take it but then start looking for another job while employed. No matter how much of a superstar you think you are I wouldn't walk out the door for small money without another job in hand - remember anything can happen and its always easier to find a job while you have a job.


Also from previous experience being the one on the other end making the decisions:
#1 - I agree with the comment that key people are not fired over the phone. Somebody gets on a plane, visits and breaks the news face to face. Ive seen SVP types fly 12 hours each way and stay in a hotel one night just to deliver the bad news.
#2 - They are NOT going to change vesting rules just for you. As noted that will set a precedent that they will not want
#3 The HR person is right. People get put on the list and then taken off when an alternative job opens up all the time. Don't expect any help from HR, they are their to protect the companies interest - not yours.

lostdog
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by lostdog » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:10 am

This is exactly why we save hard and leave the corporate world asap. Company loyalty is hard to find.
VTWAX and chill.

rgs92
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by rgs92 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:20 am

Never express ungratefulness or unhappiness to your corporate employer. You will be labeled as such and that's not a good position to be in.
It's just the bureaucracy at work. Just take the job back and be happy. This is totally normal in the work world.

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munemaker
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by munemaker » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:23 am

rgs92 wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:20 am
Never express ungratefulness or unhappiness to your corporate employer. You will be labeled as such and that's not a good position to be in.
It's just the bureaucracy at work. Just take the job back and be happy. This is totally normal in the work world.
I agree with this advice. If she wants to work there, then take the job back. If not, move on.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by stan1 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:25 am

There's a little good advice up stream here and a lot of bad advice. If she wants to stay I would focus on being reassigned to a supervisor and manager who understands her work and values her contributions. I'd also start working on a Plan B through her network of former co-workers. Since she has a high degree of respect among her peers I'm sure many over the years have moved on to other companies and they would have leads for her. She may be reluctant to move from a non-billable back to a billable position (more hours, more stress) which I can understand, but its reasonable to predict that high salary non-billable positions will be among the first to go in the next downward economic cycle.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by simas » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:38 am

What is really surprising to me is to hear is the description of the initial 'call' - and I wonder whether she received anything in writing and whether there were witnesses. I have done layoffs, have been laid off, I never seen it without
a) witness present (even on the call)
b) in writing communication (we regret to inform blah-blah-blah, you are subject to provisions of document X as set forth in blah-blah-blah)

this is never handled without someone in HR present

and yes, HR person up in the thread gives the best advice. get details of whether she is or isn't currently in the program to be laid off, and then plan from there. start looking, have conversation(s) with powers that be in the current place if they can make it right..

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burt
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by burt » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:41 am

If it was me I would "take it personally, and not accept that it's just business".
My actions (reaction) would reflect the above.

burt

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nedsaid
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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by nedsaid » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:02 am

imyeti2 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:58 pm
Hello,

We have an interesting situation here.

DW had a senior position in consulting company and is not billable. However, because of her very strong expertise, she is a valuable employee and has the ability to bring in business and influence clients.

DW was called this morning and notified that she was terminated (with 4 months of severance). When she reached out to other senior individuals in her company who she works with, everyone was shocked and there seems to be some back channel communication reaching all the way up to the COO that she needs to be retained. This is not a small company but something with revenues of $3-4 B. The company could potentially lose clients and millions of dollars in business (atleast that's what we're being told)

Within few hours, she now get a call from the head of HR saying this was a mistake and they normally make sure to review each and every employee before termination etc. I think this is just an excuse.

DW has now been asked what it would take to come back (or rather stay). DW was recently responsible for bringing in multi million client business. She also has some restricted stock from several years ago when she joined that is still vesting.

How do we negotiate our way back? Any thoughts.

Thanks.
Yeti.
As far as I am concerned, the contract has been broken. The company is only acting in its own interest. Not saying I wouldn't come back if I were her but she has to realize that things have changed.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: Need Help - DW Laid Off and Company wants her back now

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:00 am

hornet96 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:53 pm
Chicago60 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:52 pm
Asking for the 4 months severance, vesting of options immediately, a $100,000 bonus, etc are all great to ask for, but maybe someone in the organization who made the decision to terminate her, might think she is trying to take advantage of the situation.
As well she should. The level of utter incompetence of HR departments at virtually every company is rarely, if ever, penalized. They made a colossal mistake in this case, and should be held accountable in a proportionate fashion. If they seriously risked the loss of millions of dollars in business for this company, she should have a ton of leverage in these negotiations. For an employee like this, the lay-off decision should have gone through multiple reviews to be absolutely sure no mistakes would be made. Since they have now shown their hand, the fair value of her services just went up dramatically.

Good luck to the OP.
Exactly - since the company rewarded her job performance and loyalty with a RIF, there is a price to be paid. This attitude by companies thinking the employee is trying to take advantage is like the pot calling the kettle black. If they want to play games, it’s time to pay up. They can’t have their cake and eat it.
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