- SunTrust Bank's severance agreement requires terminated IT employees to remain available for two years to provide help if needed, CIO reports.
- The bank is laying off about 100 IT workers as it moves work offshore.
- The bank requires former IT workers be available for in-person assistance if needed, and says they will not be compensated.
The bank's severance includes a "continuing cooperation" clause for a period of two years, where the employee agrees to "make myself reasonably available" to SunTrust, according to several of the affected employees. The assistance would be provided without "additional consideration or compensation of any kind.”
Cooperation agreements are rare for mid-level employees.
Sara Blackwell, a Florida attorney, said if SunTrust called former employees for help and did not compensate them, that is "a clear violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act."
Companies that layoff U.S.-based employees in favor of cheaper labor from overseas have been under increased scrutiny lately. Southern California Edison workers recently complained over 500 of them were laid off so the company could bring in cheaper H-1B workers from other countries. The complaint prompted legislation currently under review in California.
UPDATE: SunTrust responded with the following statement: "It is a rare occasion when we need to call a former employee. The 'continuing cooperation' clause is designed to assist the company under scenarios that arise infrequently when we need access to knowledge possessed by a former employee, primarily related to regulatory or legal matters.
"SunTrust has never used this provision to require a former employee to be “on call” to help conduct day-to-day business in any way."