The Sunday Magazine

How the workplace "frog march" harms everybody - a Talin Vartanian documentary

A surprise phone call summons the employee to an unexpected meeting; they're ​fired​, then marched out. The ripple effect is huge.
in the 2009 movie "Up in the Air", Anna Kendrick and George Clooney play corporate downsizers whose job is to travel from one company to another firing employees. (Paramount Pictures)

Employers first used "the frog march" to fire people with access to sensitive information. These days, it seems to be standard operating procedure. 

There's a surprise phone call summoning the employee to an unexpected meeting, they're given the bad news, then marched out of the office. There are no goodbyes to colleagues and there's no opportunity to pick up any personal belongings.

Some HR professionals call it "the Band-Aid effect", but Sunday Edition producer Talin Vartanian discovered it leaves lasting scars for everyone concerned. Her documentary is called, "Can Someone Get Her Coat?"


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