Melissa Atkins Discusses Meta Layoffs in Yahoo! Finance

November 11, 2022

Obermayer labor and employment partner Melissa Atkins was quoted in Yahoo! Finance on November 11, 2022, in connection with the Meta (META) mass layoff in recent days. The article, titled “Meta layoffs took workers by surprise: ‘I thought I’d be clear in this layoff,” cites interviews with three Meta employees who lost their jobs this week. The article mentioned that two common threads emerged from all three employees. First, they all said that management had spent the last few months saying that layoffs weren’t on the table. Second, they described a work environment that had shifted radically in recent days, especially after The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that layoffs were imminent.

Meta is not the first tech company to have a mass layoff in recent days. Twitter began layoffs last week that affected 3,700 employees. Even with generous severance benefits, mass layoffs can carry legal risks and, if they’re not planned out, they can spur litigation.

“When companies do things like this hastily, they can make mistakes that create problems,” said Melissa Atkins. “Even though something may be neutral on its face, it may be discriminatory in its impact.” She also shared that she is anticipating seeing more layoffs in the coming months, and it’s possible that we haven’t seen the last of cuts in Big Tech or at Meta.

Twitter has already been hit with a proposed class action, which claims the company failed to give employees enough notice of the mass layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

Read the full article by Alexandra Garfinkle here.