You could call it the “Hunger Games” approach to layoffs – one that’s getting a big thumbs-down from workplace experts.
The Kansas City Star recently told two of its journalists, Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann, that only one of them could keep her job -- and the employees themselves would have to decide who should leave the company, according to the media blog JimRomenesko.com.
Dillion confirmed the report in an e-mail to NBC News, but did not provide any more details. The investigative reporter has worked for the Kansas City Star since 1991, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Bormann did not answer an e-mail seeking comment. She reportedly is leaving the company, according to KC Confidential, a blog that covers Kansas City issues.
On Monday, Mi-Ai Parrish, president and publisher of the Kansas City Star, announced in a memo to staffers a new round of layoffs -- the third since she joined the company in 2011, according to MediaKC, a blog that covers media issues.
In a statement e-mailed to NBC News late Wednesday, Parrish said the paper was cutting its workforce by 17 positions.
"These are always difficult decisions, so we will on occasion allow employees to volunteer for a severance package when we are reducing in areas where there are two or more of the same types of positions," Parrish said.
She added that if an employee in a group does not volunteer, "then the person with the least amount of tenure is included in the severance program."
Parrish declined further comment on personnel decisions.
Workplace experts said it’s practically unheard of for a company to take this approach when deciding who to terminate – for good reason.
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