National Semiconductor employees told to return iPods | iLounge News

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National Semiconductor employees told to return iPods

Laid-off employees at National Semiconductor have been asked to return the iPods given to them last month as part of a company-wide reward. On June 12th, National Semiconductor announced that it was giving each of its 8,500 employees a 30GB fifth-generation iPod for having an exceptionally profitable year. The Star-Telegram now reports: “Last week, the company laid off 35 employees at its Arlington plant. To the surprise of some at the plant, the laid-off workers were asked to give back their high-tech toys… One of the 35 laid-off workers said many employees at the Arlington plant were under the impression that the iPods were theirs to keep. Some had sold them or given them as gifts, according to the caller. Employees who leave the company can return the device or pay ‘fair market value’ for it.” [via CNET News.com]

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Comments

1

Talk about a kick when your down!

Posted by Peter on July 6, 2006 at 10:19 AM (CDT)

2

Um that’s total b******t. They were given to them and they can keep them. If that went to court the company wouldn’t have a case.

Posted by Treadstone79 on July 6, 2006 at 10:23 AM (CDT)

3

“exceptionally profitable year”

“laid off workers”

Hmmmmm.

Posted by icantpod on July 6, 2006 at 10:30 AM (CDT)

4

thats bull like Treadstone79 said. That’s ignorant. I hope none of the employees return them, and they bet not pay for em either.

Posted by Jesse on July 6, 2006 at 10:36 AM (CDT)

5

I’d have two words for National the first word starts with an “F” and the last word ends with a “u”!

Posted by A3rdleg on July 6, 2006 at 11:11 AM (CDT)

6

They should brick the iPods before they return them. I would.

Posted by LukeA on July 6, 2006 at 11:25 AM (CDT)

7

they just need to put the ipods next to a gaint magnet and then return it =)

Posted by wow on July 6, 2006 at 11:31 AM (CDT)

8

Wow, that’s classless.

Posted by Jeffery Simpson on July 6, 2006 at 12:03 PM (CDT)

9

Oh hell no, they have lost their minds. Just when you think corporations can’t get any more classless and insensitive, they find yet another way to screw folks. They’d get my ipod back right after hell freezes over twice in July and we all go ice skating.

Posted by Denise on July 6, 2006 at 12:08 PM (CDT)

10

Why not just knife them in the back? It’d be more direct.

Basically, what you have here is a company that wanted to bask in the PR bounty resulting from handing out iPods to its employees. How magnanimous! And boy, they sure must be profitable to be able to afford a stunt like that.

Only later (and not very much later, at that) when the other shoe drops is the true miserly nature of the company revealed. Very classy.

Posted by Hrothgar on July 6, 2006 at 12:38 PM (CDT)

11

In some defence to the company, if you read into the story, they did ask for voluntary redundancies.  They didn’t force them to go.

Still, a bit of a PR cock-up.

Posted by PS on July 6, 2006 at 12:45 PM (CDT)

12

At work, the computer they loan you isnt your… same for the ipods in the story, they say they bought the ipods “to communicate with their employees”

Posted by Vinceee on July 6, 2006 at 1:19 PM (CDT)

13

lol, if they hadn’t given everybody iPods in the first place they might not have had to lay people off in the first place.

Posted by catboy17 on July 6, 2006 at 2:28 PM (CDT)

14

We don’t know if the iPod return was disclosed before the employees voluntered to resign.

We don’t know if National considered the iPods company property or a gift to the employee (that would have been my first question, if my boss handed me one).

We don’t know if the employees were required to download/listen to any of the company podcasts.

But…

If the return was disclosed AFTER they resigned, then the fact that the resignations were voluntary seems irrelivent.

The pressed asked if the employees would be required to return them when the program was first announced, but they never answered that question. It seems to me that they either didn’t have a policy in place yet, or were keeping it secret (to avoid taking the PR shine off the program).

If the employees were told or lead to believe that they were gifts and that the podcasts were voluntary, then I see no problem with employees having sold them, or keeping them after they left the company. If they were required to listen to some podcasts and they didn’t have their own compatible MP3 player, then selling them or giving them away is, at best, very bad form.

I think National should just drop it. $300 minus bulk discount times 35 employees is nothin’ compared to the rest of their severence. They probably spend more than that per day on paper.

Posted by What we dont know on July 6, 2006 at 2:37 PM (CDT)

15

“If that went to court the company wouldn’t have a case. “

I was thinking the same thing. If you are given something as a gift, it is unreturnable. I learned that from Judge Judy I believe when some “homie” wanted his ring back.

Posted by nojok3 on July 6, 2006 at 4:08 PM (CDT)

16

“Brick them”? The company wouldn’t care if you did that. They just don’t want the employees to have them. If I was given one by that company, and then someone told me I had to give it back, I’d tell them to go to hell and ki$$ my a$$ on the way there. Oh, and that they could go f*^k themselves while they were at it.

Posted by Charles O. on July 6, 2006 at 7:49 PM (CDT)

17

The ipods are owned by the company and were not given as gifts (I was told this was because we wouldn’t have to pay taxes on them) and I was told that they wouldn’t mind if we ‘lost’ them.  News to me that they are requiring them to pay for them if they cannot return them.

Posted by Anonymous on July 6, 2006 at 11:48 PM (CDT)

18

Last post re: taxes is my guess. Somebody is, or was, a new manager at National. It is a rookie mistake to give out bonuses in such a fashion, especially tangible taxable ones, because there are about 50 ways it blows up in your face.

Some compassion for the poor folks who made the first mistake should be in order and HR if listening should do the right thing - pay a cash bonus of $500, deduct taxes, and hand the resulting net cash checks to those who return their IPOD.

After 30 days, no returned ipod, rip up check, but pay taxes and report it properly as income.

Everybody is happy.

Also, just say the truth - even if someone was really that dumb to be vengeful against laid off folks.

Posted by entanglement on July 7, 2006 at 7:20 PM (CDT)

19

I’d send my ex-company MapQuest directions to my zipper.

Posted by pikers in usa on July 9, 2006 at 5:06 PM (CDT)

20

It think giving the ipod a few minutes in the toilet bowl before returning it would be entirely appropriate. :-)

Posted by TIpod77 in Kirkland WA on July 10, 2006 at 1:07 AM (CDT)

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