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Fairness for employees dismissed by Nuance Communications
160 raised
3% of €6k goal
5 contributors
136 Days running

I am a Senior Manager who got recently laid off together with a number of other people in different positions in our company. I do feel I could speak for those people and we could help others who may get to a similar situation in future.

The company we were working for is called Nuance communications and it is an American speech software company that has roughly 12.000 employees with regional offices in 79 countries generating a non-GAAP revenue of approximately $2.0 billion.

Similarly to many of the current employees of the company, I joined Nuance via an acquisition of a smaller company, and I worked for Nuance for 10+ years. Despite Nuance being a very challenging work place, I had been enjoying my work in a great team of talented people there, but I was recently laid off, and many others too, due to a major restructuring program – one of a few business restructuring programs that the company went through in recent years – trying to make its business profitable and keeping the pace with competition. 

The company is granting Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) to the best performing employees as an incentive for them to stay. Normally, the RSUs are granted in batches that have a vesting period of 3 years, i.e. one third of the RSUs get vested every year until the complete batch is vested under the condition that the employee does not terminate its service to the company. Once the RSUs vest, they get released by the company as regular stocks that the employees can trade them at their will.

When an employee is laid off, the RSUs are forfeited based on a clause in a termination agreement that the company proposes to the laid off employees. Many of the leaving employees are not aware of the fact that their right to the RSUs should not be ceased due to the termination triggered by the company and they sign the proposed agreement. As a result of that, they really lose their right to the unvested RSUs and they accept a compensation package (if any) that can be significantly smaller value that the RSUs. This is mainly due to the fact that HR and Stock teams do not provide correct information to the employees concerning the RSUs. This is in our opinion an unfair treatment of the forced to leave employees.

Upon consulting with an attorney, I decided to decline signing the termination agreement and I initiated a fight for the unvested RSUs. I would like to raise 6.000 EUR with the goal to win the case and help therefore not only me, but also the other 12.000 remaining employees of the company around the world who may be subject to the next round of dismissals in coming months and years.

If my fundraising initiative is successful and we manage to win the case, I will distribute a guidance on how to proceed to all employees of the company so that they are well informed if they get to the same situation where me and others are right now, because I am strongly convinced that it would be more than fair for them to be well informed in a potential fight with the corporate greedy giant, a fight that not necessarily need to be a lost fight if one is not scared by the company’s attorneys machinery.

Please help us, every euro counts!

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