In big tech, getting fired can mean taking a fancy vacation

  • The typical American worker receives little to no severance pay when fired.
  • Not so much in technology. After the layoffs at Facebook, Snap, and Twitter, some have the money for multi-day vacations.
  • “Why not travel?” said a fired worker.

Getting fired can leave people stressed and with a lot of questions. How long will my health insurance last? How many months of expenses have I saved? Who is hiring? For people who recently lost their Big Tech jobs, another question is where will they take their next vacation?

Amid a wave of cost-cutting across technology, tens of thousands of people have been laid off. Facebook has laid off 13% of its staff, or about 11,000 people. Snap eliminated 25%. At Twitter, a combination of mass layoffs and abrupt layoffs under Elon Musk’s chaotic new reign has left more than 5,000 people out of work.

However, with a few years of high salaries, frequent bonuses and generous stock awards, along with several months of severance pay, many young unemployed tech workers see their current job not as a hopeless situation, but as an opportunity to catch a break. abroad.

“I don’t really know what’s next for me yet,” one former employee said on Twitter. “Why not travel?”

Typically in the US, workers receive little to no severance pay as it is not required by federal labor law. When companies do offer it, severance pay is often only one to two weeks’ pay for every year a person works. So not only are most tech workers among the top 10% of pay in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but they’re getting far more money than most workers can expect when they’re fired.

Facebook, which last year changed its name to Meta, has been relatively generous with severance for laid-off employees, offering 6 months of pay, stock payments and full benefits coverage. A laid off worker there was on his way In Japan on vacation when he found out he was fired. While most people in other industries would probably cancel such an expensive trip, he kept his plans. Another employee, who spoke to Insider on condition of anonymity, said she almost immediately began planning a cross country road trip when she was fired from Facebook.

“Now I am free,” she said. When he first started working at the company, he had no idea how grueling the hours would be. After often working 18-hour days, she uses her six-month severance pay as an opportunity to take a late sabbatical.

Other laid-off tech workers feel similarly. Although the Twitter workers involved in Musk’s initial mass layoff have not yet received a month’s severance pay, they continue to be paid their regular wages for at least 60 days under state labor laws. A former Twitter employee took a trip to Paris right after being fired. Another is traveling to Spain soon.

Another former Twitter employee said their colleagues arrange “all kinds of trips” between those who want to travel. “Ski trip? Beach trip? Around the world?” reads a message to fired colleagues on Twitter who saw the Insider. He started dozens of responses suggesting and planning trips to US skiing and hiking destinations, as well as overseas travel to Europe, Thailand, India and South America.

An employee who lost his job at Snap was hit hard by the incident. Angered by the treatment of the workers and feeling somewhat bereft, the individual found some solace in the ability to take “a spontaneous trip to Italy”, in part due to receiving four months’ pay as severance pay.

“Plenty of wine and pasta will cure anything,” said the person.

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