Mass Layoff: CEO Fires 900 Workers in One Zoom Call

Vishal Garg
Retrenchment is inevitable for businesses. But, is it possible to conduct the same mass layoffs in Malaysia? Read more to find out.

Case summary

Vishal Garg, CEO of a mortgage firm Better.com brutally fired 900 employees on a three-minute Zoom call.

“If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off. Your employment here is terminated, effective immediately.”

Vishal Garg

The CEO also claimed that this was not his first time conducting a mass layoff firing in his career. 

One fired employee who was shocked by the news can be heard in the video, “This is not real. Oh my god, I can’t believe this. This is not real. Oh no, this can’t be happening.”

Footage of the call has gone viral on social media, causing outrage from people all over the world. 

Garg’s actions are said to be cruel, unethical and self-centred, especially when he fired his employees just before the Christmas holidays kicked off. 

The CEO stated that the mass layoff is needed to avert financial crisis, productivity and performance.

However, it is found that Garg wrote in a blog post accusing his employees of “stealing” from their coworkers and customers by working 2 hours a day and being “unproductive”. 

He then admitted that his blog post could have been “expressed differently”.

On top of that, Better.com recently has received a $750 million influx from investors, making the financial crisis excuse questionable.

Is retrenchment legal in Malaysia?

As an employer in Malaysia, you have the right to conduct retrenchment.

But, you cannot simply terminate your employees as you wish. 

You need valid reasons to do so. 

Retrenchment is a process of dismissing employees due to: 

  • Closing down business
  • Financial difficulties 
  • Rescale or reorganise your workforce to improve efficiency
  • Terminate products/services that are unprofitable
  • Extra employees performing similar tasks 
  • Business merge that requires less employee 

When national lockdown hit Malaysia in 2020, large companies like Media Prima had to undergo retrenchment as part of its business transformation plan.

However, retrenchment should be your final card and you are advised to follow proper retrenchment procedures. 

Retrenchment methods

Retrenchment can be performed in two ways:

Mandatory Severance Scheme (MSS)Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS)
Employers decide who to retrench and negotiate for a notice period and compensationEmployees have a choice to leave voluntarily with a termination letter and lay-off benefits

To send a professional termination letter, click here

Notice period

For employees who fall under the Employment Act, the notice period depends on their employment duration:

  • Less than 2 years: At least 1 month 
  • 2-5 years: At least 6 weeks
  • 5 years and above: At least 8 weeks

Compensation

Retrenchment affects your employees as much as it does to your business. 

Therefore, you should let them go with proper financial support. 

This is where compensation plays its role. 

For employees who fall under the EA and has worked for at least 1 year, they are entitled to receive retrenchment benefits: 

  • Less than 2 years: 10 days of salary for every year of service 
  • 2-5 years: 15 days of salary for every year of service 
  • 5 years and above: 20 days of salary for every year of service

For employees who do not fall within the EA, their retrenchment benefit lies within your power. 

You get to decide how you’re going to ease their financial burden at the moment. 

If termination benefits are included in their employment contracts, do follow them wisely. 

If not, here are some benefits you may want to offer: 

  • 1 to 3 months of salary
  • 25% of their salary for 3 months after retrenchment 
  • Pension funds for workers above 60 years old
  • Assist terminated workers in job search 
  • Write a recommendation letter

The take-home message

According to the Ministry of Human Resource, employers must take the following measures when conducting retrenchment: 

  • The reason behind the retrenchment must be genuine 
  • Employers have tried other alternatives to avoid retrenchment
  • Employers should retrench foreign workers first and obey to LIFO (Last In First Out) principle

In this Better.com case, it’s not the retrenchment that sparks anger among society but his execution of it. 

Garg’s actions have caused him to receive severe backlash on social media and news platforms. 

People have decided to boycott his business after the video went viral. 

“Let’s cancel him out and ensure he bankrupts,” one person commented on Facebook. 

His mistreatment in the video has also caused existing workers to think about their exit plan. 

Not to mention how future talents will refuse to work under Better.com knowing how the CEO treated his staff. 

Hence, it’s crucial to execute your mass layoffs responsibly and ethically.

How we may help

Our platform connects third-party recruiters with hiring employers.

Recruiters get to access thousands of jobs from top employers with recruiting needs.

Join us today to help job seekers build their career in the hands of good employers. 

More To Explore

Man dealing with impostor syndrome at work.
Human Resources

How to Deal with Impostor Syndrome at Work

There are many types of people. Some people blow their own trumpets loud, although, in reality, they’re not as great as they think they are. There are some people with real, amazing skills who doubt their value. Have you ever felt your achievements are due to luck? Or are you not doing as well as

The money shown is too little to survive. To survive in the current economy, you'll have to learn ways to earn passive income
Human Resources

7 Ways to Earn Passive Income Without Quitting Your Job

News of recession starts looming closer and closer as we reach the second half of the year. With our inflation rate reaching 3.4% in June, even in a kampung or a small township, the cost of living has increased tenfold compared to what it was just five years ago. Food prices have increased so rapidly

They are a prime example of how to lead a sales team effectively
Company News

How to Lead a Successful Sales Team Effectively

Sales isn’t an easy job. I’ve been there. During semester breaks, I was a part-time salesgirl at various shops in a shopping mall. I took a telesales job soon after graduating (which I miraculously survived for a year). Working in the sales department was challenging. I was constantly anxious if I’ll get a deal or

Scroll to Top
[wpforms id="15980"]
<div class="wpforms-container wpforms-container-full wpforms-form-abandonment" id="wpforms-15980"><form id="wpforms-form-15980" class="wpforms-validate wpforms-form wpforms-ajax-form" data-formid="15980" method="post" enctype="multipart/form-data" action="/mass-layoff-ceo-fires-900-workers-in-one-zoom-call/" data-token="8626c0b2b723f967d3e8b504d46f1f8b"><noscript class="wpforms-error-noscript">Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.</noscript><div class="wpforms-page-indicator progress" data-indicator="progress" data-indicator-color="#9f45ff" data-scroll="1"><span class="wpforms-page-indicator-page-title" ></span><span class="wpforms-page-indicator-page-title-sep" style="display:none;"> - </span><span class="wpforms-page-indicator-steps">Step <span class="wpforms-page-indicator-steps-current">1</span> of 4</span><div class="wpforms-page-indicator-page-progress-wrap"><div class="wpforms-page-indicator-page-progress" style="width:25%;background-color:#9f45ff"></div></div></div><div class="wpforms-field-container"><div class="wpforms-page wpforms-page-1 "><div id="wpforms-15980-field_12-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-pagebreak" data-field-id="12"></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_16-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-divider" data-field-id="16"><h3 id="wpforms-15980-field_16" name="wpforms[fields][16]">Company Details</h3></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_3-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-text" data-field-id="3"><label class="wpforms-field-label" for="wpforms-15980-field_3">Company Name <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><input type="text" id="wpforms-15980-field_3" class="wpforms-field-medium wpforms-field-required" name="wpforms[fields][3]" required></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_5-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-number" data-field-id="5"><label class="wpforms-field-label" for="wpforms-15980-field_5">Number of employees <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><input type="number" pattern="\d*" id="wpforms-15980-field_5" class="wpforms-field-medium wpforms-field-required" name="wpforms[fields][5]" required></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_14-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-pagebreak" data-field-id="14"><div class="wpforms-clear wpforms-pagebreak-left"><button class="wpforms-page-button wpforms-page-next" data-action="next" data-page="1" data-formid="15980" disabled>Next</button></div></div></div><div class="wpforms-page wpforms-page-2 " style="display:none;"><div id="wpforms-15980-field_6-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-divider" data-field-id="6"><h3 id="wpforms-15980-field_6" name="wpforms[fields][6]">Contact Person</h3></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_0-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-name" data-field-id="0"><label class="wpforms-field-label" for="wpforms-15980-field_0">Name <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><div class="wpforms-field-row wpforms-field-medium"><div class="wpforms-field-row-block wpforms-first wpforms-one-half"><input type="text" id="wpforms-15980-field_0" class="wpforms-field-name-first wpforms-field-required" name="wpforms[fields][0][first]" required><label for="wpforms-15980-field_0" class="wpforms-field-sublabel after ">First</label></div><div class="wpforms-field-row-block wpforms-one-half"><input type="text" id="wpforms-15980-field_0-last" class="wpforms-field-name-last wpforms-field-required" name="wpforms[fields][0][last]" required><label for="wpforms-15980-field_0-last" class="wpforms-field-sublabel after ">Last</label></div></div></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_7-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-text" data-field-id="7"><label class="wpforms-field-label" for="wpforms-15980-field_7">Job Title <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><input type="text" id="wpforms-15980-field_7" class="wpforms-field-medium wpforms-field-required" name="wpforms[fields][7]" required></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_9-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-phone" data-field-id="9"><label class="wpforms-field-label" for="wpforms-15980-field_9">Phone number <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><input type="tel" id="wpforms-15980-field_9" class="wpforms-field-medium wpforms-field-required wpforms-smart-phone-field" data-rule-smart-phone-field="true" name="wpforms[fields][9]" required></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_1-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-email" data-field-id="1"><label class="wpforms-field-label" for="wpforms-15980-field_1">Email <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><input type="email" id="wpforms-15980-field_1" class="wpforms-field-medium wpforms-field-required" name="wpforms[fields][1]" required></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_15-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-pagebreak" data-field-id="15"><div class="wpforms-clear wpforms-pagebreak-left"><button class="wpforms-page-button wpforms-page-next" data-action="next" data-page="2" data-formid="15980" disabled>Next</button></div></div></div><div class="wpforms-page wpforms-page-3 " style="display:none;"><div id="wpforms-15980-field_10-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-gdpr-checkbox" data-field-id="10"><label class="wpforms-field-label wpforms-label-hide" for="wpforms-15980-field_10">Agreement <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label><ul id="wpforms-15980-field_10" class="wpforms-field-required"><li class="choice-1"><input type="checkbox" id="wpforms-15980-field_10_1" name="wpforms[fields][10][]" value="By submitting your registration request, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy." required ><label class="wpforms-field-label-inline" for="wpforms-15980-field_10_1">By submitting your registration request, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. <span class="wpforms-required-label">*</span></label></li></ul></div><div id="wpforms-15980-field_11-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-pagebreak" data-field-id="11"><div class="wpforms-clear wpforms-pagebreak-left"><button class="wpforms-page-button wpforms-page-next" data-action="next" data-page="3" data-formid="15980" disabled>Next</button></div></div></div><div class="wpforms-page wpforms-page-4 last " style="display:none;"><div id="wpforms-15980-field_13-container" class="wpforms-field wpforms-field-pagebreak" data-field-id="13"><div class="wpforms-clear wpforms-pagebreak-left"></div></div></div></div><div class="wpforms-submit-container" style="display:none;"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[id]" value="15980"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[author]" value="4"><input type="hidden" name="wpforms[post_id]" value="5937"><button type="submit" name="wpforms[submit]" id="wpforms-submit-15980" class="wpforms-submit" data-alt-text="Sending..." data-submit-text="Submit" aria-live="assertive" value="wpforms-submit">Submit</button><img src="https://recruitopia.com/wp-content/plugins/wpforms/assets/images/submit-spin.svg" class="wpforms-submit-spinner" style="display: none;" width="26" height="26" alt=""></div></form></div> <!-- .wpforms-container -->