Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Door Hits Reading Eagle Employees On the Way Out

No Severance Pay, Even For Those Who Put In Decades at the Paper

Long gone are the days when you got laid off from a newspaper that you took it personally. At some shops, it's probably more of a surprise when you can still log on to your computer.
So, at first glance when the Reading Eagle announced May 1 it was eliminating 12 percent of its workforce, it was sad but hardly unexpected news.
But what the paper didn't tell its readers was the affected employees were escorted from the building after being told they were getting no severance pay.
No as in nada, zip, gornisht.
That includes guys like Ron Romanski, the assistant photo editor who put in 45 years at the Eagle.
"It shocks everybody I talk to," he told Editor & Publisher. "I'm thinking about suing them. I didn’t think it would happen to me."
Oh, to be fair (sort of), the Eagle did provide two weeks of benefits to give those kicked to the curb enough time to apply for COBRA.
But no severance pay? How do you do that if you're the type who can still look at themself in the mirror and sleep at night? That especially goes for a private, family-owned business.
For the Ron Romanskis of this world, family has taken on a whole new meaning.

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