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Some Meta employees claim they are not being promised severance pay

Anwar Almojarkesh (L) and Alan Chalabi (R) of England take a photo at the 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 a company training program say they receive poorer severance packages compared to other workers who were recently laid off.

The employees are members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program, designed to help workers of diverse backgrounds pursue careers in enterprise technology recruiting. The Sourcer Development Program is part of Meta’s Pathways programme, which helps people with non-traditional professional backgrounds gain apprenticeships with the social networking giant for various roles.

Nearly every member of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program, more than 60 workers, were let go from the company as part of the massive layoff of more than 11,000 workers earlier in November, multiple Meta employees told CNBC.

Several members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program told CNBC they joined Meta in April as part of the company’s latest cohort. The employees said they were not contract workers and were instead categorized as short-term employees who received all the benefits of full-time employees, including insurance and pension funds, but not company stock packages. After completing the 12-month program, the employees will be converted to full-time employees if they meet 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 an additional two weeks for each year of service, with no cap. Zuckerberg added that Meta would cover the cost of healthcare for people and their families for six months.

But members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program said they only receive 8 weeks of base pay and three months of COBRA.

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

On November 16, the affected workers sent a letter to Zuckerberg and other Meta executives, including Meta’s Chief Human Resources Officer Lori Goler and CEO Javier Olivan, informing Meta management of their termination and asking for help in resolving the issue.

“Even our former leaders insisted that we were confused and that all the information they got was that we were offered 16 weeks’ pay and 6 months’ health insurance,” the group wrote in the letter.

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

The affected Meta workers said they have received no response from Meta’s human resources and managers explaining their situation.

“During a recent Q&A, Lori even stated that the Pathways programs would not be affected,” the letter states. “It was based on this information that we were repeatedly assured by our managers 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 always evolving and changing, but we couldn’t help but feel that perhaps there had 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 packages meant to congratulate them for completing the Sourcer Development Program.

“We hope that Meta offering only 8 weeks of base pay and 3 months of COBRA to the affected SDP class in April 2023 is a clerical error and was not done with willful 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.

See: Meta will not spend too much on Metaverse, still focused on social media and advertising business

Some Meta employees claim they are not being promised severance pay

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