- A software engineer said he was laid off from Google right after his bereavement leave for his mother.
- In a LinkedIn post, he wrote that he did not regret prioritizing time with his mother.
- He also wrote that he’s grateful for the “generous” severance package and more time off to recover.
A software engineer says he was laid off from Google four days after he returned to work after grieving his mother, who died from cancer in December.
In a LinkedIn post shared on January 26, Tommy York detailed his experience working for — and being laid off from — Google.
York started his job at Google in December 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile. Two months later, in February, his mother was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. Juggling work and taking care of his mother in the last few months of her life was difficult, he wrote in the post.
“I will say this: onboarding at Google is challenging, there’s a lot of ‘just figure it out.’ It was even more difficult when also dealing with my Mom’s chemo appointments, moving her in with family, or the extremely challenging last few months of her life,” he wrote.
After York’s mother died in December, he took a bereavement leave. Four days after turning to work, he found out he’d been laid off.
York said the retrenchment was like a “slap in the face, like being hit when you’re down.” But he also wrote that he has no regrets about having spent time with his mother in her last days.
“There will always be more opportunities to work at exciting companies, but a parent dies only once. I’m grateful that I spent the time and energy I did with my Mom, and not overworking for a company who might decide on one cold Friday morning that my badge doesn’t work anymore,” York wrote.
Many of the laid-off Google employees found out they had been affected by the job cuts when their badges didn’t let them into the office.
York also said he was grateful for a “generous severance package” and more time to recenter after his mother’s death.
“Life goes on, and someday this will be a self-deprecating story told to amuse and entertain, another obstacle overcome,” he said.
York is one of the 12,000 Google employees who were laid off from their jobs on January 20. Among the thousands of affected individuals are a married couple on parental leave and a woman who had just given birth.
To date, York’s LinkedIn post has gotten over 4,800 reactions and over 160 messages that show support and solidarity for him.
“Tommy, thank you for being so brave to share what you’re going through, too often people hide the pain and setbacks of life on social media, revealing only the shiny parts that are not the true human experience. I’m sorry to hear about your mom. Thinking of you and sending you lots of love,” read one comment on his post.
York declined to comment for this story. Google did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.