SunTrust Bank (market value: $21 billion) is currently laying off full-time IT workers and outsourcing their jobs overseas. The bank does require them, though, to stay on call for two years. For free.

Earlier this week, ComputerWorld reported on an eye-catching clause in the severance agreements of SunTrust IT workers who were being laid off.

The bank’s severance deal includes a “continuing cooperation” clause for a period of two years, where the employee agrees to “make myself reasonably available” to SunTrust “regarding matters in which I have been involved in the course of my employment with SunTrust and/or about which I have knowledge as a result of my employment at SunTrust.”

Yes—workers who are losing their jobs are being asked to sign an agreement in which they promise to, in essence, be on-call consultants for two years. Furthermore: “Such assistance may include, but is not limited to, telephone or in-person meetings with SunTrust employees, attorneys and/or accountants... I understand that I will not be entitled to any additional consideration or compensation of any kind from SunTrust in exchange for such assistance.”

These IT workers are now in the process of training their replacements, the contract workers who will take over their jobs for lower salaries, leaving them unemployed. One would think that that was degrading enough, without being asked to sign a promise of two years of free on-demand consulting services to the company laying them off. SunTrust now insists that such a clause would only be invoked in rare circumstances. Perhaps they should write it in a way that reflects that, then.

Actually, perhaps they should pay their laid-off employees for consulting services.

Actually, perhaps they should not engage in the practice of laying off full-time US workers and outsourcing their jobs to contractors in foreign countries and making them train their replacements, in order to increase SunTrust Bank’s net earnings, which were $537 million in the third quarter of this year.

Perhaps SunTrust employees should consider unionizing.

[Photo: AP]