What Is a ‘Go-Forward’ Employee?


/gō fôrwərd/

Refers to workers who will keep their jobs as opposed to those who will be laid off. A euphemism that attempts to make abstract what is unpleasant.

If you have a job right now, congratulations: You are in a “go forward” role. If you lose your job, sorry: You are no longer in a go-forward role.

It’s not you. It’s the go-forward structure.

This summer, the term, which is sometimes used in the world of mergers and acquisitions to describe the fates of employees after a deal is completed, crept into mainstream layoff vocabulary.

“Today, we shared the difficult news with 54 of our team members (representing 15 percent of our team) that they no longer have go-forward roles at the company,” the Mom Project, a digital talent marketplace, wrote in a LinkedIn post in July.

Two months later, Compass, the real estate brokerage, used the term in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, saying, “The company believes it is in a position to reduce…

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