Company Lays Off 1,700 ... Via Conference Call Not a candidate for boss of the year: Sanofi-Aventis By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff Posted Dec 18, 2010 8:46 AM CST 25 comments Comments Not a classy way to lay people off. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Sanofi-Aventis will most likely not be making an appearance on the "best places to work" list: The world's fourth largest drugmaker had a "brutal and inhumane" method of laying off 1,700 employees, says one of the canned: via conference call. The Huffington Post reports that on Nov. 30, Sanofi-Aventis employees got an email wishing them a happy Thanksgiving and instructing them to check their email again on Dec. 2. That day, employees received a second email with the phone number of a conference line, a call-in code, and a scheduled call-in time later that morning: 8am or 8:30am. You know how this is going to end... The 1,700 employees who phoned in at 8:30am were told to stop working immediately, that they would be paid through the end of the year, and that they would receive a modest severance package. They were not allowed to ask questions. A director of media relations for the company admits the method "wasn't ideal," but says that "given the scope and scale of the reductions, there was no other way to share this news quickly and consistently. Click for more.