How to Lay Off Employees When Everyone Is Remote

by Evil HR Lady on March 31, 2020

Rent the Runway laid off all of its brick and mortar staff. With stores shut and parties canceled, layoffs make complete sense. But, they reportedly did it via Zoom. Is that acceptable?

In the pre-social distancing rules, the answer to that would be a resounding no. Layoffs should be done face to face, and the employee’s direct manager should be the person to deliver the bad news. Meetings should be held one on one unless the company is laying off an entire group, as done here.

But, Rent the Runway staff had already been sent home, stores were already shuttered. It made no sense to call everyone in for a face to face meeting–and an increased chance of spreading COVID 19. Notifying people via zoom is better than sending a message via FedEx. 

How do you layoff when employees are already home? Here’s what you should do.

To keep reading, click here: How to Lay Off Employees When Everyone Is Remote

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr Cautious April 1, 2020 at 6:02 pm

I’ve been hired virtually, and I’ve been furloughed virtually. Even if you’re the beloved, indispensable star of the company, “black swan” events happen. Be prepared, financially and emotionally, for the unexpected.

As my wife was just saying to me: this is easier to deal with since we don’t have car payments, but do have an emergency fund.

Like the Great Depression, this might be a national object lesson in preparation.

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Camelia April 1, 2020 at 6:33 pm

In 2009, I worked for a very small company. One morning I opened my e-mails and found one addressed to eight employees, including me. The owner/manager informed us that we were being laid off, effective that day (because of cash-flow problems and the company’s lack of success in borrowing money from banks). (We the Laid Off represented more than 50 percent of the employees.) We spent the day packing up our personal belongings, getting our final paychecks, and finding out about COBRA and our 401(k). Eventually, some employees were rehired by this company; I was rehired about 4 months later. Notification of termination by e-mail may seem strange, but the owner/manager operated the company mostly by e-mail, not face-to-face contact. None of us suspected that this layoff was coming.

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