Some Meta employees claim they are not receiving promised severance pay

England’s Anwar Almojarkesh (L) and Alan Chalabi (R) pose for a photo at Meta (formerly Facebook) headquarters in Menlo Park, California on November 9, 2022.

Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

A group of Meta workers who joined the company through an on-the-job training program say they receive lower severance packages than other recently laid-off workers.

Employees are members of Meta’s Sourcer development program, designed to help workers from diverse backgrounds build careers in enterprise technology recruitment. The Sourcer Development Program is part of Meta’s Pathways program, which helps people with non-traditional work backgrounds gain apprenticeships at the social media giant for a variety of roles.

Nearly all members of Meta’s Sourcer development program, more than 60 workers, were fired from the company as part of its mass layoff of more than 11,000 workers earlier in November, several Meta employees told CNBC. .

Several members of Meta’s Sourcer development program told CNBC that they joined Meta in April as part of the company’s latest cohort. The employees stated that they were not contract workers and were instead classified as short-term employees who received all the benefits of full-time employees, including insurance and pension funds, but not the company stock packages. After completing the 12-month program, employees would then be converted to full-time employees if they met the necessary criteria.

In a letter sent to Meta employees during the layoffs and posted online, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would pay severance pay of 16 weeks of base salary plus two additional weeks for each year of service, without ceiling. Zuckerberg added that Meta would cover the cost of health care for individuals and their families for six months.

But members of Meta’s Sourcer development program said they only received 8 weeks of base pay and three months of COBRA.

The workers said it was unclear why they were receiving lower severance packages than their colleagues, given that they were full-time employees and not contract workers.

On November 16, affected workers sent a letter to Zuckerberg and other Meta executives, including Meta’s people manager Lori Goler and COO Javier Olivan, informing Meta management of their dismissal situation and asking for help in resolving the issue.

“Even our former managers insisted we were confused and all the information they were getting was that we were being offered 16 weeks pay and 6 months health insurance,” the band wrote in the letter.

They later added: “Management may not have been aware that the last SDP class, which started in April 2022, was repeatedly assured by its management that any potential layoffs would not have impact their current job, but would likely impact the company’s ability to consider them for a full-time position.”

Affected Meta workers said they received no response from Meta’s human resources and management staff explaining their situation.

“During a Q&A recently, Lori even said that Pathways programs would not be affected,” the letter reads. “It was based on this information that our managers repeatedly assured us that we did not need to start applying for positions outside the company.”

“We understand that we are employed at will and that business needs are constantly evolving and changing, but we couldn’t help but feel that there may have been a mistake,” the group added.

The workers told CNBC that Meta has yet to respond to their letter, but has sent some members gift boxes to congratulate them on completing the source development program.

“We hope that Meta offering only 8 weeks of base pay and 3 months of COBRA to the affected April 2023 SDP class is a clerical error and was not done with intentional disregard or insensitivity” , the workers said in the letter.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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