The way startup Better.com laid off half its workforce is leading people to ask, “better at what?” I’m Amy E. Feldman.
Four thousand employees of Better.com were tipped off that they were going to be laid off before it actually happened when a tab called “severance” was suddenly added to their internet browsers. Nice planning. To cushion the blow, the company did say it will pay workers sixty days of severance pay, even though there are almost no laws that require a company to pay any severance.
But this could actually be one of the very few exceptions; The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (the WARN Act) requires in cases of plant closings or mass layoffs, in which between 50 and 499 workers or 33% or more of workers at a single worksite are fired, a company has to provide 60 days advance notice of the closing and could be liable for up to 60 days of pay if they don’t provide that notice. Not clear how much notice Better.com is giving—but putting a severance tab on a browser probably doesn’t count.