Check Your Email by 9 PM (or How Not to Terminate Redux)

This email was forwarded to me by a person very close to me. This person was laid off from his job in November. While the company didn’t handle his termination 100% correctly, he was at least afforded his termination in person. The rest of his former co-workers weren’t as lucky per this email from the company CEO :

SUBJECT: Important Announcement


All of you are undoubtedly aware that the US economy and most parts of the World are in the midst of a major economic recession. While the ultimate length and depth of the recession is unknown at this point, it is clear that this is the most severe US economic challenge in at least 80 years. The [redacted] industry has been particularly hard hit as the recession has been led by a major upheaval in the financial, capital and credit markets. [Redacted] projects requiring financing are being cancelled [sic] or delayed. Projects related to consumer spending [redacted] have largely been cancelled [sic]. Most corporations have found it necessary to significantly reduce staff to better align costs with revenues.

Company], unfortunately, is not immune from this process. Over the past month we have been looking closely at our US business and see the need for some substantial changes. These include a price increase, new product offerings, more emphasis on pushing for full implementation and reducing our costs to better match reduced revenue expectations. Our costs reduction plans are now finalized and will include a staff reduction and compensation adjustments.

Staff Reduction

  • All those impacted by the staff reduction will receive an email around 8:30 tonight. Please check your emails by no later than 9:00 pm to see if you are impacted.
  • If you are impacted please come to your office between 8:30 and 9:30 am this Friday to hand in your phone, PC, security card and anything else belonging to [Company].
  • You will be paid your normal salary until the end of December and you will be granted options…
  • Please keep in mind that these reductions are not performance based and simply reflect the realities of a very harsh economy.
  • If you do not receive an email, you are not part of the staff reduction.

Compensation changes

  • Commencing January 1st all employees including the executives will have their compensation changed as follows:
  • Monthly salary will be paid at the rate of 80% of current compensation.
  • The 20% balance will be paid in equity – common stock units of [Company Name Redacted] at the rate of $3 worth of shares for each dollar of compensation.
  • Your target bonus remains unchanged.
  • There will be a meeting at 2:00 pm this Friday to explain more of the details.
  • All of us regret the need to take these steps but they are critically important for [Company]’s long term future.

    Chairman and CEO

Needless to say, my jaw hit the floor when I read this. I thought the days of email terminations went out in 2006 with Radio Shack. When will these executives ever learn how important it is to allow employees the same amount of dignity on the way out as they did on the way in.

Maybe it’s just me, but “check your email by 9:00 PM” on a Friday night is not one of the most dignified ways to let employees know whether he/she has a job come Monday. And while I do commend the company for scheduling a meeting for the remaining employees, perhaps they could have offered that consideration to those who were exiting as well.

Shame, shame, shame on them.

Note: This company is not in California.

3 Replies to “Check Your Email by 9 PM (or How Not to Terminate Redux)”

  1. I was not ‘impacted’ by a reduction at one company, though those involved were summoned one by one to an office while they were in the building. I bring it up because this company also scheduled a meeting for the remaining employees, at which one of the first orders of business was to have everybody stand up, and give each other a hand for being there.

  2. Holy crap Lori! “If you do not receive an email, you are not part of the staff reduction.” Un-frickin-believable! This is reflective of someone who fully lacks organizational courage. Any numnuts can send an fear-laden email blast to the masses but it takes a real leader to stand up and take responsibility through open, honest and PERSONAL communications. Now you have me all worked up!

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