Company Accidentally Sends Severance Checks to Thousands of Employees Before Announcing Layoffs
Better.com is back in hot water after a major blunder that occurred ahead of a new round of layoffs.
Just when it looked like things couldn't get worse for Better.com and its messy leadership, another round of layoffs has once again put the company in piping hot water.
To catch you up to speed, last December the company laid off 9% of its workforce (about 900 employees) in an impromptu Zoom video call a mere four days before Christmas and told employees that the terminations were "effective immediately.
Co-founder and CEO Vishal Garg (who has currently taken a break from his role amid the scandal) and Better.com faced major backlash after footage of the call went viral across social media, forcing Garg to write a public statement to employees on the company's website.
"I failed to show the appropriate amount of respect and appreciation for the individuals who were affected and for their contributions to Better," Garg penned at the time.
Now, not only has the company announced more layoffs, but they've completely blundered the delivery by accidentally sending employees their severance checks before the layoffs were announced.
Per TechCrunch, layoffs at the company were supposed to be announced on March 8 but were switched to March 9, though internally on the company's payroll app (Workday) the change hadn't been instated and employees had begun receiving notifications for severance checks at midnight on March 8.
"No email, no call, nothing. This was handled disgustingly," one anonymous employee told TechCrunch. "Leadership remained absolutely silent, never acknowledged anything in regards to layoffs. They still haven't."
Layoffs were later confirmed via email by CFO and Interim president, Kevin Ryan.
"It is clear – after careful, comprehensive review – that we will need to do more to ensure a strong path forward for the company and the vital work we are all doing to make homeownership more accessible for everyone," the email stated. "Unfortunately, that means we must take the difficult step of streamlining our operations further and reducing our workforce in both the U.S. and India in a substantial way."
The email then goes on to explain that employees who were laid off will be "contacted personally" via phone call over the next few days and that they will be receiving severance (around 60 to 90 days worth of pay) and three months of COBRA medical benefits.
"This has not been an easy few months, and I want to express my sincere thanks to every member of the Better team for your hard work and focus and for continuing to take such great care of our customers and each other," Ryan said. "Every one of us, those leaving and those remaining, have played a critical role in building Better. Our strongest days lie ahead."
The latest round of layoffs is reportedly set to affect over 3,000 employees.
Reports state that Better.com was valued at $7 billion after receiving a $750 million "cash infusion" just days before December's mass layoffs.
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