Thursday, February 25, 2021

The 4th nominee for the “Worst Employer of 2021” is … the socially distant mass discharger

Repeat after me. Thou shalt only fire people in person, and never by phone call, email, or text message. If, because of COVID-19, you absolutely must fire someone by Zoom, at least have the decency to turn on your camera and mic.

Apparently, the Washington Football Team did not receive this memo. It just mass fired its entire staff of cheerleaders via Zoom, with the camera and mic turned off.

The Washington Football Team executive kept his video off the entire Zoom call.

None of the cheerleaders he was about to let go could see his face. They were all put on mute, so they couldn't ask questions. The team was in a new phase of "rebranding," they were told. And the whole cheerleading program – 36 women in total – was being put on "pause."
I have zero issues with an employer "going in a different direction," "rebranding," or "constructively using downtime to revamp its business." Employees are at-will. They are not owed anything, the least of which is a job. But, when an employer makes the decision to take that job away from an individual, it at least owes the employee a face-to-face conversation. I understand that times are different, and lots of meetings are being conducted by Zoom. Heck, I'm conducting most of my meetings via Zoom. But to communicate a group layoff via a mass Zoom call, and not even have the decency to turn on your camera? That will earn you a spot on my Worst Employer list.