One day after the Hook's first article about possible lay-offs at LexisNexis was posted online, the company reacted by sending a soothing mass email to each of its 300 Charlottesville employees, reassuring them that all is well and that there is no corporate plan to systematically eliminate positions, as several employees said they feared.
"What is true is that the more than 300 employees, colleagues, friends, neighbors, spouses, partners, acquaintances, and confidantes gathered here under the LexisNexis name all matterÂ¢Ã¢â??Â¬“ each and every one of us," says the email, which disputes several claims in the Hook's article.
The email denies that Lexis's local workforce has shrunk from 600 to 300 in the past two years, claiming instead that the only attrition was due to the sale of the publishing division to Cadmus Communications early last year, which, as mentioned in the Hook's article, resulted in a transfer of 90 employees. (The Hook's 2006 data came from its phone survey of local companies in the summer of that year, in which Lexis representatives provided the 600 number.)
As for the switch of 120 editors from salaried to hourly status, that change occurred in July of last year, the email says, not in January as the Hook reported. Lexis' Chicago-based spokesperson (who demanded anonymity) had claimed in the first article that the change would have no effect on possible severance packages.
The email confirms the company conducts background checks on its employees but denies credit checks. But when asked whether the company does, in fact, conduct both types of checks, the anonymous spokesperson told the Hook that such checks are standard. The email adds that not one of the 2,000 employees whose background has been examined has been fired or demoted.
As for the article's question– Are local Lexis lay-offs coming?– the email offers no answer.
"That our industry is changing is true. That LexisNexis is responding to those changes is true. That those changes are sometimes difficult and create anxiety is true. We understand," it says. "But the biggest truth of all is that we are an organization of people and we are needed to carry out the business. If you have any questions or doubts in this regard, please don't hesitate to ask."