Marstel-Day Lays Off Staff, Closes California Offices

by | Oct 8, 2015 | Business

By Susan Larson

Fredericksburg-based environmental consulting firm Marstel-Day laid off 57 of its 137 employees company-wide and closed two California offices this month. President and CEO Rebecca Rubin said the move resulted from the loss of an expected $11 million contract at the end of the federal contracting cycle in September.

“It was completely unexpected that such a significant client and funding source did not make it across the finish line [of the contracting cycle],” she said. “On September 30 we knew what the task order value for Fiscal Year 2016 contracts was, and how many people we could afford to keep. We aligned staff with the budget, and now we’re back in balance.”

In Virginia, 25 staff were laid off, 20 of those from Fredericksburg’s headquarters office. In California, 13 staff were laid off and five were transferred to the payroll of another company.

“The strategy was to preserve a Virginia base,” Ruben said. “Of the 80 staff remaining, 75 percent are in Virginia.”

“Structurally the company is in great shape,” Rubin said. “It’s the human dimension that’s hurting. It’s just painful.”

Staff were notified by email that they were being laid-off, a former employee said. “It was not handled well.”

Ruben said Marstel-Day is providing a three week severance package and help finding a new job, including “focused sessions on COBRA, resume writing and interview skills.”


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