Microsoft Plans to Warn All Employees of Termination with 60 Days Notice
Microsoft announced it would lay off 10,000 workers this month, on trend with other companies in the industry including Amazon and Meta. One of the largest tech companies in the world, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Natella, referenced economic turbulence and suggested the company was strategizing for the next wave of AI computing as reasons for the mass layoffs. In his memo he mentions, “while we are eliminating roles in some areas, we will continue to hire in key strategic areas.”
Business experts have reported that many tech companies over-expanded during the pandemic, increasing their workforce at a time when many other industries were consolidating their own. Having capitalized on the excess of talent during the pandemic then, major technology companies are paying for those decisions now. Microsoft estimates its recent job cuts will cost the company about $1.2 billion. The tech giant plans to compensate affected employees with “above-market severance pay, continuing healthcare coverage for six months, continued vesting of stock awards for six months, career transition services, and 60 days’ notice before termination, regardless of whether such notice is legally required.”
WARN Act Compliance
Microsoft’s decision to proactively alert employees of their termination with 60 days’ notice is a move designed to robustly protect them from accused violation of the WARN Act. The WARN Act, or Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, of 1988 is a federal labor law that protects employees, their families, and communities from sudden mass layoffs and plant closures. It requires employers that have over 100 employees to notify their staff in advance of significant job cuts.
Employers must adhere to the WARN Act when they terminate at least 50 workers at one time. Contract workers, consultants, and business partners – who are not direct employees of the company but may be affected by its layoffs – are not protected under the WARN Act.
The Department of Labor oversees the regulation of the WARN Act. The agency created guidebooks for employees and employers on their rights under the Act.
Employers may offer severance packages to affected employees to help ease financial hardships post-termination. But these financial packages often include clauses in which employees sign away their rights to sue for cause, including for violations of the WARN Act. It is wise to have an experienced employment attorney review your severance agreement so that you know exactly what it is you’re signing.
Contact the Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis!
Have you been affected by a mass layoff without proper notice? If so, seek legal assistance from the employment lawyers at the Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis, located in New York City and in Livingston, New Jersey. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.
Our employment lawyers specialize in many areas of the law, including wrongful termination, FMLA and unpaid wages and overtime. Whatever your employment issue is, please reach out for a consultation today.