Nov 16, 2019
The nearly 1,000 WeWork employees who clean and maintain buildings in the U.S. and Canada are being involuntarily terminated on December 9th. They are being offered jobs at a different company, JLL, who will contract them back to WeWork in a similar role “for the time being.”
In an effort to provide transparency and support, the WeWorkers Coalition arranged an info session for our Community Service Associate (CSA) and Building Cleaning Associate (BCA) colleagues with our legal counsel, who took questions regarding their forced transition to JLL.
We are alarmed by the current situation for a few reasons.
Employees are being forced to sign the offer letters by Monday, November 18th, despite having just received them five days earlier. If they choose not to sign, WeWork will consider the decision a "voluntary resignation.”
Voluntary resignation would very likely prevent them from collecting unemployment benefits, and unlike other WeWork employees getting laid off this year, they would not be offered a severance package upon termination.
Many are confused by the pay discrepancies that have surfaced in the offers. In particular, some CSA/BCAs are being offered lower wages than their peers, despite having more tenure at WeWork.
WeWork’s 401k plan uses “last day rules” for 2019, which means they only receive the employer’s contribution for the entire year if employed by WeWork on the last day of the year. Since they are being terminated in early December, they will lose the whole year’s employer match.
The offer letters state that workers will not be able to receive pay increases until 2021. On Friday, after concerns were raised about this wage freeze, JLL sent emails calling this a “mistake” and said they may be entitled to wage increases in 2020, depending on performance.
Employees have asked for a revised contract to be sent containing this correction, but JLL has refused. They stated that the emails “replace the verbiage in the offer letter.”
WeWork has given no information on what will happen to vested stock options in the process of this change of employment.
As of Saturday afternoon, several of our colleagues still have not received an offer letter and are afraid that if they do not accept in time, they will miss the Monday deadline.
The WeWorkers Coalition believes that the company is not following through on its promise to treat employees with “dignity and respect” during this restructuring process. Our hard-working colleagues deserve better than this.
We are requesting that the We Company and JLL take the following actions immediately:
WeWork and JLL: Please act now. You can still remedy this situation, but time is running out.
The WeWorkers Coalition
@weworkersco · firstname.lastname@example.org