Here on Above the Law, we have extensively covered layoffs caused by the shrinking economy. We’ve also covered stealth layoffs. And we’ve covered performance review layoffs that have been done out in the open.
But at WilmerHale it looks like we are seeing an example of this: economically induced performance reviews resulting in stealth messages that require people to openly leave the firm.
Say that ten times fast. A tipster reports:
I know of [several] associates and counsel that have been laid off at Wilmer in the past week. Many of the associates are 2-4 years, but the lay-offs reach up to the 6 year level. All of them were let go for “performance” reasons – but everyone that I’ve talked to has had nearly perfect evaluations….
The not so subtle indication we are getting from the firm is to tread lightly — find something else and leave quietly, and if [people] do that, they will get help, resources, support and references. I imagine the flipside of that is [squeaky wheels] will get a performance-based dismissal to hang over their heads….
People are just too scared to say anything in this economy. Of course, there is always the shame of thinking you’ve been let go for “performance” reasons that will keep people quiet as well.
As we understand it, these cuts have taken place in Washington D.C. and Boston.
After the jump, WilmerHale tells us that there have been no “layoffs.”