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IBM Employee Job Cut Survival Kit
Helpful Information

Things To Do:

  • While you still have access to IBM systems, print off your salary history and pension history from Money@Work and take it home. (Even if you get 30 days to "find another job in IBM", you may no longer have access to these systems).

  • If you have any files at work listing award history, education history or other personal information, print them and take them home. Education history can be important in establishing the skills you list in your resume.

  • 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 are in a location where 500 or more employees have been let go within 30 days, IBM must conform to the federal WARN act and give you 60 days notice and 60 days pay.

  • If you are over 40 years old, please file an age discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); their web site is This is particularly important if your area has new college hires. Document if new hires are brought into your former area after you have been let go. It is perfectly legal for you to file a complaint even if you've signed a waiver to get your severance check.

  • Locate copies of your appraisals and PBC ratings from "HRA", and take them home. IBM won't voluntarily give you any reference information after you are gone. Plus, if you decide to file a complaint 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. Be sure to make a list of their external email id's and phone numbers so you can contact them (you can make a copy of your Lotus notes directory.) Sometimes the best source of a new job is one of your colleagues.

  • Send a note to the IBM pension administrator ( asking for a copy of your current vested rights in both annuity form and cash form. Provide your serial number and home address. (Note from one of our members: 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, he has not received his vested rights information, but instead has 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.)

  • Also please fill out the Alliance web site 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. They too may be laid off and looking for a job themselves. If they give you a window for finding another job inside IBM, make the calls yourself and send out as many resumes as possible.

Web Site Links With Further Information:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:
Older Workers Protection Act:
US Dept. of Labor:
Find your state Unemployment Office:

Helpful Articles:

For those who remain:
Without a union, management dictates everything about a layoff. With a union, we could have a grievance procedure for unfair situations and we can have the terms of the layoff in writing, such as the right to be recalled back to your job when business picks up. It is up to you - continue with Gerstner and Palmisano controlling your future OR join the Alliance and build power in the workplace for IBM employees.

Disclaimer: This information is not legal advice. Please consult an attorney for any questions you may have.

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Contact Information:

Jim Mangi (jim.mangi at
Site space donated by and a retired IBMer who supports the Alliance@IBM cause.

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