Sephora Just Mass-Fired Their Part-Time Employees Via Conference Call

Due to the pandemic, Sephora, a 97 billion dollar company decided to mass fire their part-timers and seasonal employees (all 3,754 of them) on a conference call. The company announced in a Tuesday statement on its website.

When Sephora first shut their US stores in mid-March, they pledged that “All store employees will continue to receive their base pay for scheduled shifts for the duration of this closure. In addition, health and wellness benefits for employees who are currently enrolled will continue.” At the time, Sephora seemed to think their stores would reopen on April 4.

However, on Tuesday, they decided to laid off all of their part-time workers to ”support the long-term health of their business”, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In the US, we have made the difficult decision to let go a portion of our part-time and seasonal store employee base. We believe these actions taken together will support the long-term health of our business, protect our people and preserve our ability to reopen our stores when that time comes

Brittney Coorpender, a former skincare advisor for a year and half in a California Sephora store who was laid off, described the moment before she and thousands of other employees were fired—she was notified that there would be a conference call on Tuesday afternoon conducted by her district manager for some employees in her district, she said she was told about the conference call about 10 minutes in advance.

Coorpender said she and her fellow employees were asked to mute themselves on the call and were then informed that they were being fired, effective immediately, and that they might be able to reapply in the future.

“You could hear everyone absolutely sobbing,” Coorpender said about what it was like after the call was finished. “I hung up as soon as I heard the first person cry at the end I couldn’t take it. I was in tears myself.”

For now, “Sephora’s remaining 9000-plus US store employees will continue to be paid 100 percent based on their average hours worked and receive any existing health benefits through late May or until the stores reopen.”

Meanwhile, the site is still running. Read Sephora’s full statement here