CEO Reaches Out To Laid-Off Worker To Ask Her To Do Something 'No One Else Knows How To Do'

She couldn't believe he had the audacity to make such a request.

Last updated on Apr 16, 2024

confused woman working on her laptop fizkes via Shutterstock / Torico and ludmyla via Canva

In recent years, mass layoffs in various industries, leaving hundreds of thousands of employees scrambling to make a living. While most might expect a layoff to be the last they'll hear from their previous employer, one woman was in the midst of dealing with her loss of income when her former company circled back to ask an "outlandish" favor of her.

The jobless woman shared the email her former company sent her asking her to do contracted work after they laid her off.

“I had to calm down before making this video because… the audacity!” the recently laid-off woman, Kiki Rough, said in a TikTok video explaining her strange situation.




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“I wanted to check in with you to see if you would be available to do a final run of the customer reports including January," an email reportedly from her former CEO read. "Our customers are asking, and it would be great if we can support them.”


He went on to say that the Rough would be paid for the temporary project as a contractor and receive an hourly rate for the work performed.

Still willing to help, she outlined all of the steps that would go into completing the project. Rough also explained to the CEO that if she were to take on the task at an hourly rate, she would lose her unemployment compensation, so she proposed that she be paid for the full week to make up for the loss of unemployment benefits.

The boss had his own take on what was required of the woman, how valuable she was, and how long it would take, so refused to accommodate her needs. He responded by telling her that he expected her to do similar work to some she had done in the past and expected the work to take no longer than a couple of days, so paying for full weeks of work was out of the question.

According to Rough, “He essentially says 'You’re not worth the week’s pay. You can [do] it for me hourly.'”


She took his response as a clear indication that whether she lost her only source of income or not was irrelevant to him.

In response to his blatant disregard for her well-being, Rough told the man that if he did not send her a week of pay, she would not be able to perform the work for him. Needless to say, the two could not agree on payment for the job.

Rough explained that she had no qualms about sharing the conversation on social media since she felt her former employer was attempting to exploit her. She told viewers that when she was laid off, she never received any severance pay and was not given notice that her employment was being terminated.

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Rough's experience is a prime example of the lack of loyalty in the workplace.

Rough marveled at the fact that employers are still treating employees unfairly and using them to meet the needs of the company without considering any potential ramifications workers may face. According to Business Insider's chief correspondent covering workplace and the economy, Aki Ito, the lack of loyalty goes both ways, with both employees and employers no longer willing to go the extra mile for the other. 

"They don't treat people relationally," Denise Rousseau, a professor of organizational behavior and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, said of companies today in Ito's article on workplace loyalty. "They treat people transactionally and as fungible, as easily substituted one to the next."



In fairness, Rough's CEO could have extended an olive branch and offered to pay the full week. But since he did not, Rough would receive no financial benefit from helping her ex-employer out.


"Should charge him for the email exchange," someone wrote in the comments of Rough's video. "Send the invoice as consultation fees."

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NyRee Ausler has a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and over 20 years of experience in Human Resources. Using her expertise, she writes lifestyle and human interest stories that promote discussion on social issues and workplace experiences.