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Williams-Sonoma Fires Scores of Seasonal Remote Workers Days Before Christmas

Williams-Sonoma says the workers had finished their assignments for the season.
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Williams-Sonoma  (WSM)  found itself in the center of controversy Thursday when it released remote seasonal workers, with many let go more than a month before they expected their seasonal jobs to end.

A spokeswoman for the home products retailer said the employees were seasonal remote workers and that "the bulk of the business purpose of these positions takes place prior to Christmas."

She declined to specify how many workers were involved, but noted that the seasonal assignments can start and end at any time during the retail surge between August and January.

One of the employees who was let go told the Daily Mail that the layoffs came more than a month before the workers expected their employment to finish at the end of January.

Video of one of the calls shows a manager telling workers on the call: "We want to thank you for your time with us and for helping us make the season a success."

"Right after this call we want you to clock out," the manager adds, as the conference call can be heard exploding with outraged remarks from the fired workers.

"You're doing this on Christmas week, whose idea was this?" one worker asks.

"This is not open for discussion, we're not having this conversation," the manager responds. 

"We're going to have this conversation!" the worker responds. "What are you going to do, write me up? You gonna write me up? You just fired us!"

The company is just the latest to engage in controversial employment tactics: Earlier this month, Vishal Garg, CEO of of Better.com, took to Zoom to lay off 900 employees of the online mortgage lender's staff.

Better.com said Garg would be taking some time off and that CFO Kevin Ryan will take over day-to-day decisions for the company as it undergoes a "leadership and cultural assessment" by a third-party firm.