IT Workers See Room To Improve Pink-Slip Tactics

Many IT workers were blindsided by layoffs and received little or no severance, according to a survey.
When it comes to layoffs, many companies could take a lesson from Aretha Franklin. Namely, R-E-S-P-E-C-T and what it means to IT. Corporate pink-slip tactics have many tech workers singing the blues, according to a survey from Inc. of more than 700 IT professionals who've been laid off in the past three years.

For starters, more than one-third say they were blindsided by the layoffs. And a significant number of workers heard the bad news in an impersonal fashion: Nearly 20% were told by phone, E-mail, or interoffice mail. Survey respondents didn't find much comfort in severance pay either, with 27% receiving no severance and 43% receiving one month or less.

Thirty percent of workers say their companies revoked passwords and cut off computer access before they were officially off the payroll--although 15% say they continued to have access to corporate networks even after they were off the payroll.

Stanley Sidlov, an IT manager in New Jersey who was laid off last year, had a rather abrupt send-off. "Between the time I was called to HR and the time I came back--about an hour--all my passwords had been revoked. I was not allowed to access my office until I signed a legal agreement waiving all my rights and protecting the company's interests." He was escorted off the property and finally returned four weeks later to claim personal items, after negotiating the terms of the waiver. "Generally, it's a reminder not to keep anything personal on your office computer or take any expensive items to your office."

Listening Post: Maybe there's no way to be laid off without pain. But is there a manager's side of the story, too? How have you coped with giving someone the bad news? Share your story in the Listening Post discussion forum.

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