England’s Anwar Almojarkesh (L) and Alan Chalabi (R) take a photo at Meta’s (formerly Facebook) headquarters in Menlo Park, California on Nov. 9, 2022.
Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images
A group meta Employees who joined the company through a corporate training program say they receive lower severance pay than other employees who were recently laid off.
The employees are members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program, designed to help employees of various backgrounds find careers in corporate technology recruiting. The Sourcer Development Program is part of Meta’s Pathways program, which helps people with non-traditional professional backgrounds intern at the social networking giant for a variety of positions.
Nearly every member of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program, more than 60 employees, was laid off from the company as part of the mass layoff of more than 11,000 employees earlier in November, multiple 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 newest cohort. The employees said they were not contract workers and were instead categorized as temporary employees who received all the benefits of full-time employees, including insurance and pension funds, but no company stock packages. Upon completion of the 12-month program, the employees would be converted to full-time employees if they met the required 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, with no limit. Zuckerberg added that Meta would cover health care costs for people and their families for six months.
But members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program said they only receive 8 weeks of base salary and three months of COBRA.
The employees said it’s unclear why they receive lower severance pay than their peers, given that they were full-time employees and not contract workers.
On November 16, affected employees sent a letter to Zuckerberg and other Meta executives, including Meta head of people Lori Goler and chief operating officer Javier Olivan, informing Meta management of their layoff situation and requesting assistance in resolving the issue.
“Even our former managers insisted we were confused and all the information they were given was that we were being offered 16 weeks wages and 6 months health insurance,” the group wrote in the letter.
They later added: “The leadership may not have been aware that the last SDP class, which started in April 2022, had been repeatedly assured by their leadership that a possible layoff would not affect their current employment, but probably on the company’s ability to consider them a full-time position.”
The affected Meta employees said they have not received any responses from Meta’s human resources and management personnel explaining their situation.
“During a Q&A recently, Lori even stated that the Pathways programs would not be affected,” the letter read. “Based on this information, our managers repeatedly assured us that we would not have to apply for positions outside the company.”
“We understand that we are hired at will and that business needs are always evolving and changing, but we couldn’t help feeling that maybe a mistake had been made,” the group added.
The workers told CNBC that Meta has not yet replied to their letter, but has sent some members gift packages congratulating them on completing the Sourcer Development Program.
“We hope that Meta is offering only 8 weeks of base salary and 3 months of COBRA to the affected SDP class of 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.
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