Humor Columnist Takes Aim at Stealth Layoffs
A humor columnist notes that law firms are reluctant to admit they are suffering from the economic downturn. As a result, they use a number of strategies to lay off unlucky associates in a surreptitious manner.
One strategy is the stealth layoff, the columnist known as “The Snark” writes for the Daily Report in an article reprinted by the New York Lawyer.
“With a stealth layoff, the firm doesn’t necessarily fire you,” Snark writes. “Rather, they essentially let you know that they plan to can you in the next three months—but as a ‘professional courtesy,’ they will give you a few months to find ‘other career alternatives.’ ”
Other law firms may admit to layoffs, but characterize the move as “smartsizing” to serve clients “more efficiently.” Or law firms may engage in “classic canning” of associates, scrutinizing their work with unprecedented care.
“So your failure to proofread that draft one last time before you sent it to the client—resulting in two typos—will now lead to your demise for ‘lack of attention to detail,’ ” Snark writes.