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Don Burleson Blog 







Identifying Oracle professionals for layoffs

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonNovember 200,  2015

When faced with the reality of doing layoffs most managers try to be as fair as possible, preparing an objective comparison of cost vs. performance for each employee.  However, you must also consider intangible aspects such as the loss of institutional knowledge which is especially critical for Oracle DBA's who understand the complex nuances of your systems.  When evaluating Oracle professionals for a layoff, many employers consider these factors:

  • Has the person distinguished themselves by graduating from a competitive university? 

  • Are they committed to keeping up with the technology changes?

  • Have they been chosen to publish in Oracle journals and present at Oracle conferences?

  • Are they well-liked by their peers and end-user community?

  • Are they a good value for their salary level?

  • Are they productive, when compared to their peers?

The biggest discrepancy is found with successful, older Oracle professionals.  For example, it's not uncommon to find senior Oracle professionals who have earned top raises in past years and now earn twice the salary of a professional who has just graduated from college.  Because older Oracle professionals may not be as productive as they once were and they may not have the stamina of the younger folks to work long evening and weekend hours, they present a tempting target for layoffs.

While age discrimination laws prevent wholesale layoff of your more expensive and less productive older workers, there are some things that can be done to justify layoffs on a case-by-case basis.  Job termination laws vary widely between jurisdictions.  They cover the gamut from employment-at-will states where you don't need to state a reason for firing someone to states with strict wrongful termination laws.  Remember, in some jurisdictions, a large layoff of Oracle professionals can be very costly because of required severance and unemployment pay for each employee.

In order to avoid complaints about unjust termination some companies may justify their layoffs by claiming abuse of company resources.  While this practice is considered unsavory, companies have been able to successfully fire Oracle professionals ?for cause? by documenting unauthorized use of company property for such innocent acts such as surfing the web while at work.  The rules vary by jurisdiction, but avoiding litigation after a layoff is a legitimate concern for the IT manager. 

For complete details on firing Oracle professionals, see the book ?Firing Computer Professionals:  The IT Manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause".




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