Anwar Almojarkesh (L) and Alan Chalabi (R) from England take a photo at Meta (formerly Facebook) corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, California on November 9, 2022.
Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty Images

A group of Meta workers who joined the company via a corporate training program say they are receiving inferior severance packages compared to other workers who were recently laid off.

The employees are members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program, intended to help workers from diverse backgrounds obtain careers in corporate technology recruiting. The Sourcer Development Program is part of Meta’s Pathways program, which helps people with non-traditional professional backgrounds obtain apprenticeships at the social networking giant for various roles.

Nearly every member of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program, more than 60 workers, was let go from the company as part of its massive layoff of more 11,000 workers earlier in November, multiple Meta employees told CNBC.

Several members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program told CNBC they joined Meta in April as part of the company’s latest cohort. The employees said they were not contract workers and instead were categorized as short-term employees that received all the benefits of full-time employees, including insurance and retirement funds but not corporate stock packages. After completing the 12-month program, the employees would then be converted to full-time employees if they met the necessary criteria.

In a letter sent to Meta employees during the layoffs and posted online, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company would pay severance of 16 weeks of base pay plus two additional weeks for every year of service, with no cap. Zuckerberg added that Meta would cover the cost of healthcare for people and their families for six months.

But members of Meta’s Sourcer Development Program said they are only receiving 8 weeks of base pay and three months of COBRA.

The workers said it’s unclear why they are receiving lower severance packages than their colleagues, considering they were full-time employees and not contract staff.

On Nov. 16, the impacted workers sent a letter to Zuckerberg and other Meta executives, including Meta’s head of people Lori Goler and chief operating officer Javier Olivan, informing Meta management about their severance situation and asking for help resolving the issue.

“Even our former managers insisted we were confused and that all the information they were getting was that we were offered 16 weeks of pay and 6 months of health insurance,” the group wrote in the letter.

They later added, “Leadership may not have been aware that the last SDP class, which began in April 2022, was repeatedly assured by their leadership that any potential layoff would not impact their current employment but would likely impact the company’s ability to consider them for a full-time role.”

The impacted Meta workers said they have not received any replies from Meta’s human resources and management staff explaining their situation.

“During a Q&A recently, Lori even stated that the Pathways Programs would not be impacted,” the letter said. “It was based on this information that we were repeatedly assured by our managers that we didn’t need to start applying to positions outside of the company.”

“We understand that we are employed at-will and that business needs are always evolving and changing, but we couldn’t help but feel maybe there had been a mistake,” the group added.

The workers told CNBC that Meta has yet to reply to their letter, but has sent some members gift packages intended to congratulate them for completing the Sourcer Development Program.

“We hope that Meta offering only 8 weeks of base pay and 3 months of COBRA to the impacted April 2023 SDP class is a clerical mistake and was not done with intentional disregard or callousness,” the workers said in the letter.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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