Many corporations and smaller businesses took COVID-19 stimulus funds that prevented them from mass furloughs or layoffs until October. That employee protection is about to run out. Hundreds of thousands of workers will log off after receiving the bad news by email or phone. Many of them will walk away with thumb drives full of customer lists, contacts, competitive pricing and other sensitive corporate data. Some are or will soon be custodians under litigation hold. Have you reviewed and updated your termination protocols to accommodate mass layoffs of remote employees?

Separation of employment policies, protocols and real-world practices should be assessed by a team of stakeholders. The pandemic push to remote work has led to an overnight adoption of virtual meetings, new social collaboration systems and more. Your IT teams are just trying to keep business running while your users are trying out every new cloud solution available. Layoffs, divestitures and furloughs are always stressful. That is why many companies give lip service to protecting company data when a long time employee is let go. No one wants to demand that they wipe their BYOD smart phone. No one wants to have to check access logs for mass downloads.


What you ignore can and will come back to bite you eventually. So pull together your stakeholders for yet another Teams call to walk through your current practices and address the challenges of terminating a remote employee, especially one under legal hold.


Pandemic layoffs & furloughs:

  • Macy’s – 125,000
  • Walt Disney World – 43,000
  • United Airlines – 36,000
  • HSBC – 35,000
  • America Airlines – 25,000
  • Slumberger – 21,000
  • MGM Resorts – 18,000
  • Southwest Airlines – 28%
  • Mercedes-Benz – 30%
  • Spirit Airlines – 20-30%
  • Boeing – 10%
  • Hertz – 10,000
  • Ford – 1,400
  • AT&T – 3,400
  • Coca-Cola – 4,000
  • Delta Airlines – 1,941
  • Salesforce – 1,000
  • Tailored Brands – 20% & 500 stores closed
  • Walgreens – 4,000
  • Uber – 3,700
  • Virgin Atlantic – 3,150


Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.

Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment or advice. Greg is no longer a journalist and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being posted. Do you want to share your own perspective? Greg is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 

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