Indian-American CEO Vishal Garg-run digital mortgage company Better.com laid off nearly 3,000 of employees in the US and India, just months after firing 900 employees on a Zoom call in December. These employees on Wednesday received their severance cheques in the payroll app, which was accidentally rolled out early. The company was supposed to announce the layoffs on Wednesday.
Employees have taken to LinkedIn to share harrowing experiences of the lay-off process with one woman saying her computer just shut down in the middle of work. The social media platform is covered with posts by former Better.com employees and their devastating stories.
“I did not find out through our payroll system, my bank account showing a severance check, or a phone call from HR. My computer just shut down in the middle of me responding to one of my clients,” Amanda Bullard wrote on LinkedIn.
Another employee was disheartened to be sacked soon after his birthday. “I just turned 26 and I never imagined being laid off would be my birthday gift. But as I said to a rep on my team this morning: “It’s part of the journey of life. Obstacles don’t break us, they make us stronger. It’s the obstacles that lead us on the path to greatness,” Hiren Gihwala wrote.
He has now started a spreadsheet adding all details of laid-off employees to build connections and find jobs.
The company apparently forgot to change the date on its accompanying Workday app and employees reportedly saw severance cheques appearing in the app at 12 a.m. on March 8 (US time). According to the employees, the severance cheques arrived without any additional communication from the company. The severance package is reportedly 60 to 80 days’ pay.
Better.com had reportedly planned the layoffs for March 8 but moved the date to March 9 when news of the initial date was leaked.
Amongst the 3,000 employees who were laid off, was Kiana Brown, a single mother who moved to a different city all on her own, spent hours preparing and studying mortgage knowledge to advance her skills at the company. She is the sole bread earner of her family.
“I am more heartbroken than anything else. I moved as a single mother to a new city for this opportunity all on my own. Spent countless hours preparing and studying mortgage knowledge to advance my skills to be treated as if I didn’t matter. I understand layoffs happen. What I don’t understand is how the company communicated the news," Brown wrote.
As Better.com lays off almost 50 per cent of its workforce as reported by TechCrunch, an employee took the task to bring to notice the obstacles of pregnant employees getting fired.
Eric Blattberg shared a post where an employee urged on CEO Vishal Garg and CFO Kevin Ryan on business communication platform Slack to provide extended medical benefits to all the pregnant women getting laid off on Women’s Day.
Indian-origin Garg returned to his post as CEO after a month long break after the controversial Zoom call where he laid off 9 per cent of his company’s workforce. The 43-year-old had then stepped down and apologised for his manner of handling layoffs.
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in New York, Better.com offers mortgage and insurance products to homeowners through its online platform.
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