I’m reprinting, verbatim, a comment made this morning on the August 29th post, Update: Deloitte Statement on Layoffs. Many people have asked me about the rules for public notice prior to a layoff. I believe that notice requirements depend on the size of the cuts and their geographical concentration. Organizations like the Big 4 have an advantage given the dispersion of their workforces across multiple locations. The rules are oriented towards “layoffs” in a particular plant or factory, per the typical definition of a “layoff”. But it seems others have now done the research and perhaps spoken to counsel. These are not layoffs, but reductions in force, cuts, terminations, firings.
I think everyone on this blog knows that Barry didn’t send this e-mail out of the kindness of his heart to give his people a “heads up” about the “headcount” issue.
In my mind, this e-mail was sent out to comply with WARN Act requirements, which mandate that if you plan to layoff more than 30% of your employees, 60 day notice must be given. So, yes, more layoffs are going down. Since they are complying with WARN, this layoff could be much larger – possibly massive. In my mind, the next round of layoffs will be like looking at casualty levels in World War I compared to WWII. Image-conscious Deloitte wouldn’t have made such an announcement unless they planned to cut many, many more people and stay in compliance with WARN.
Merck sent out a similar letter last year, and lo and behold, 60 days later, a massacre occurred – massive layoffs were conducted.
Keep in mind that the latest cuts were not performance based – they were based on salaries and accumulated severance. Who knows what the criteria will be next time (late November – just in time for Thanksgiving!), but I trust the criteria will be similar.
So, if you get an e-mail that says “FYO9 Planning” – run the other way and don’t look back! Some useless person from HR will give you the bad news to justify their existence.