Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, Twitter severance pay compared

Google’s headquarters is seen in Mountain View, California, United States on Sept. 26, 2022. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Tech companies have laid off tens of thousands of workers in recent months as the industry struggles with investors’ reduced risk appetite and rising borrowing costs. Dismissed workers across the technology sector are entering an uncertain job market, with staff cuts across all experience levels and teams. Few companies, with the possible exception of Apple, have remained immune.

Dismissed employees receive severance payments of varying size and duration depending on where they work. Here’s what some of the biggest technology names have promised their employees.

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Alphabet

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Microsoft

Amazon

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meta

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., center, departs federal court in San Jose, California, USA on Tuesday, December 20, 2022.

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At the time, Zuckerberg promised “each” laid-off employee 16 weeks of severance pay, plus two weeks for each year of service, as well as RSU vesting and health insurance for a predetermined amount of time.

In December 2022, some laid-off employees from a non-traditional learning program told CNBC that they received substandard severance payments compared to other recently laid-off employees. Instead of Zuckerberg’s promised 16 weeks, they received only 8 weeks of base pay, among other material differences.

Twitter

Fired at Twitter started shortly after Elon Musk completed his 2022 takeover deal. Twitter was expected to lay off more than 3,700 employees, or more than 50% of its workforce. Ultimately, many more employees quit after Musk announced that Twitter employees are expected to be committed to a “hardcore” work environment.

Under the terms of Musk’s acquisition agreement, existing layoff agreements would be honored by the new management. But a group of Twitter employees filed a lawsuit in November, shortly after the layoffs were made, accusing Twitter of firing them in violation of California’s layoff notice law.

Musk had previously said that fired employees would receive three months of severance pay, but some Twitter employees claimed that in exchange for a non-disparagement agreement and a statutory waiver, Twitter would only offer them one month of severance pay.

The class action was updated shortly after filing with allegations that Twitter offered some laid-off employees half of what they were promised.

Twitter also fired more than 4,000 contract workers without giving them advance notice, CNBC previously reported.

CNBC’s Annie Palmer, Jonathan Vanian, Jennifer Elias, Jordan Novet, Lora Kolodny, Ashley Capoot and Sofia Pitt contributed to this report.

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