What To Do If You Are Laid Off
Employee Job Cut Survival Kit
IBM employees across the country are once again fearful of the annual year-end job cuts. As usual they come at the holidays. This year there is special concern as the economic crisis has deepened and with the after-effects of September 11.
Yet at the same time IBM corporate executives have yet to make any personal sacrifice. Meanwhile the company has bought back $7 billion dollars of IBM stock. IBM executives also have yet to say what they would do with the $1 billion slated for the company in the "Economic Stimulus" bill being considered by Congress.
The Alliance@IBM has put together this list of "things to do" if you are facing loss of employment at IBM.
We are encouraging ALL employees over 40 who are being forced out of the company to file an age discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Find information on our web site at www.allianceibm.org.
While you still have access to IBM systems, print off your salary history and pension history from Money@Work and take it home.
Write down exactly how much vacation and floating holiday time that you've used. Make sure you have taken credit for all your holidays. Unused holidays are forfeited, but IBM has to pay you for unused vacation.
If you have any files at work listing award history, education history or other personal information, print them and take them home.
If you can locate copies of your appraisals and PBC ratings, take them home. IBM won't voluntarily give you any reference information after you are gone. Plus, if you decide to file charges with the EEOC, you will need a record of your performance. Even if you don't lose your job at this time it is always good practice to keep your personal records at home.
Keep in contact with co-workers who remain at IBM. Document if new hires (especially College hires) are brought into your former area immediately after you have been let go.
Send a note to the pension administrator (email@example.com) asking for a copy of your current vested rights in both annuity form and cash form. Provide your serial number and home address. (Southbury Alliance editor's note - Don't expect to easily get the information that IBM is legally required to provide you. After three requests and a threat of legal action, I still have not received my vested rights information, but instead have been directed to use the Money@Work tool to get the information. BEWARE! Money@Work does NOT provide your vested rights, it only tells you what IBM estimates your retirement income will be based on IBM's formulas and assumptions.)
Go to the Alliance web site and fill out a form about your job loss. We need the statistics. You do not have to provide your name if you don't wish to do so.
DO NOT assume your manager is watching out for your best interests. If they give you a window for finding another job inside IBM, make the calls yourself.
Make a copy of your Lotus notes directory. You may need contacts in the future.
Alliance web site with many links: http://www.allianceibm.org/
Older Workers Protection Act: http://www.ahipubs.com/FAQ/benefits/older.html
Without a doubt many will go through another resource action in IBM. Without a Union or a contract we will be at the mercy of corporate management. While a contract and a union can not necessarily save jobs, both can give workers a voice and some control over the process. We can make sure job cuts are fair and seek alternatives. It is up to you - continue with Lou Gerstner and Sam Palmisano controlling your future OR join the Alliance and build power in the workplace for IBM employees.
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