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6 Brutal Ways Companies Told Staff They Were Being Laid Off

Better.com on a laptop screen

Business is a cutthroat world, and bosses won't hesitate to cut staff if they feel it needs doing.

However, there are good and bad ways of going about it.

No one wants to hear their job is going out-of-the-blue and companies should understand a sensitive approach is the best way.

However, some got it very wrong, which led to a lot of bad publicity.

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Better.com's Virtual Mass Layoff

One of the most shocking layoff announcements in recent times came from Better.com, a digital mortgage company.

In December 2021, CEO Vishal Garg informed approximately 900 employees they would be leaving the company via a Zoom webinar.

With little warning, Garg bluntly told his employees their employment was effectively terminated immediately.

The lack of compassion and the abrupt nature led to significant backlash both internally and from the public.

The Chicago Sun-Times Photo Team Dismissal

In 2013, the Chicago Sun-Times made a drastic decision to lay off its entire photography staff, impacting 28 full-time employees.

The staff were informed about their termination through a brief email, with no prior warning or face-to-face communication.

This method was seen as impersonal and disrespectful.

It led to a public outcry over the disregard for longstanding employees who had contributed significantly to the newspaper’s success.

The P&O Ferries Mass Dismissal via Video Call

In March 2022, P&O Ferries abruptly fired 800 of its staff via a pre-recorded video message.

Employees were informed that their employment was terminated effective immediately and that they would be replaced by cheaper labor.

This move sparked outrage among the sacked employees.

It also led to widespread public and political backlash due to the impersonal and sudden nature of the announcement.

Twitter's Overnight Lockouts

The billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter in November 2022.

Almost immediately, the company executed a massive layoff, cutting about half of its workforce.

Many employees learned of their fate as they were suddenly locked out of their company accounts overnight, with no prior notification.

This method caused confusion and distress among the staff and was widely criticized for its lack of transparency and compassion.

Snap Inc.'s Surprise Layoffs

In August 2022, Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, laid off over 20 percent of its workforce.

The layoffs were communicated through impersonal emails.

In some cases, employees only found out after losing access to their work accounts.

The abruptness and lack of direct communication were seen as harsh.

It is said they affected employee morale and prompting a reconsideration of how tech companies manage layoffs.

Tesla's Email Goodbyes

Tesla - also owned by Elon Musk -has also been known for its abrupt layoff practices.

In 2018, Tesla laid off more than nine percent of its workforce as part of a reorganization aimed at reducing costs and boosting profitability.

Many employees received notification via email, with little to no prior warning.

The impersonal nature of the communication was a point of contention, particularly given Tesla's status as an innovator in employee engagement and corporate responsibility.

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