Kansas City Star President and Publisher Mi-Ai Parrish has issued a strongly worded memo to employees today denying that any employees at the McClatchy-owned paper were forced to decide among themselves whether they would be laid off or not.
Her memo was in response to numerous reports circulating across the country via social media that veteran reporters Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann were told to select among themselves who would be laid off during the newspaper’s most recently layoff involving 17 employees. Parrish says that is not true.
MEMO TO: Co-Workers
FROM: Mi-Ai Parrish
“Some of you may have seen online reports regarding the recent layoffs at The Star,” wrote Parrish. “We want to be clear that we did not ask our employees to work out any decisions amongst themselves.”
“As most of you know,” said Parrish, “the Star has tried to make voluntary options available on many occasions when it has been necessary to make reductions in our workplace, in order to lessen the impact of involuntary eliminations.
“In fact, the feedback we’ve received from employees has been overwhelmingly in favor of making the voluntary option available. For this particular severance program. for any group of two or more employees in which a reduction is to occur we did offer the voluntary option. However, if there are no volunteers, as is our practice, the employee with the least tenure will be included in the reduction. This program was clearly communicated to those employees affected by the severance program.
“We find it unfortunate the way the situation has been portrayed, and we are very sorry for the impact on the employees involved. We will continue to work with all employees affected by this severance program to help them transition through this difficult time made even more difficult by the misinformation being reported.”