City Desk

Some More Handy Layoff Euphemisms for D.C. Public Schools

Here are a few words used in yesterday's press release from the D.C. Public School system about the coming teacher layoffs: "equalization," "right-size," "reduction-in-force," "align staffing," and "required separations."

One word not used: "layoffs."

In the same spirit of linguistic transparency, City Desk offers this handy guide to layoff euphemisms, care of Bob Sutton (author of The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One that Isn't) and one of his old blog posts at Work Matters. Consider including some of these next time!

Adjusting to shifts in demand
Corporate outplacing
Cost improvement plans
Fitness plan
"He got the box"
Made redundant
"Non-essential" employees
Rebalancing  the level of human capital
Re-engineering plan
Special forces philosophy
Synergy-related headcount restructuring
"We've decided to go in another direction"

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman offers another: "amortizing the work force."

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