By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The CEO of a startup mortgage company is getting slammed after he terminated hundreds of employees in a restructuring.

As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reported Monday, what critics have a bigger problem with is how the massive layoffs were done.

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It was on a mass Zoom call where employees logged on and learned they were being fired weeks before Christmas. In a video that has gone viral, you hear Vishal Garg, the CEO of Better.com, giving the bad news.

“If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group being laid off. Your employment here is terminated effective immediately,” Garg says.

For some, it was reminiscent of the movie “Up in the Air” starring George Clooney, where firing people in person instead of via teleconference was part of the plot line.

This, however, was real life for some 900 employees of the digital mortgage lender, which has offices in Oakland, California.

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“This is an important, life-changing event,” said Larry Gould of Lower Manhattan. “If they all have the ability to do it one on one, within a reasonable amount of time, to do it one on one, they should.”

As unpleasant and awkward as it may feel, experts say just like hiring over Zoom, you cannot have one without the other. So expect that you can get fired.

“If you just got fired over Zoom, it’s really the new normal. You just have to get used to it. I don’t want to say ‘boo hoo,’ but I sort of want to say, ‘boo hoo,’ meaning if you’re willing to get hired over Zoom, you have to be willing to get fired over Zoom,” Stephen Viscusi said.

Viscusi said the employer needs to remember that Zoom meetings can be recorded, so it could come back to bite the company if it is not as sensitive as it should be.

Better.com did not respond to CBS2’s request for comment about the layoffs.

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CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team