Man jumps to death after lay-off

A MAINTENANCE worker jumped to his death from the town hall roof in Costa Mesa, California, an hour after being told he was to be laid off.

Huy Pham, 29, jumped off the building yesterday and was pronounced dead at the scene, police Lieutenant Bryan Glass said.

Mr Pham was on a list of more than 200 people - nearly half of the city's workforce - targeted for lay-offs in a drastic move to plug a $15 million budget hole. Those who received redundancy notices would see their jobs outsourced in six months.

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Mr Pham had worked for the city for four and a half years, itr was reported. He had been off work with a broken ankle, but was called in at at about 2:30pm to receive his notice.

"This is a tragic event for the city and all of its employees," Lt Glass said. "The city is concerned for their wellbeing and making efforts to help them through this."

Mr Pham's brother, John, said it was not evident that his brother was despairing, or even in distress.

"When the layoffs were coming, he thought he was probably going to be rehired (by the new contractor]. He seemed normal. He was planning to go to Mt Everest with some friends."

Grieving co-workers gathered at City Hall after word spread of Mr Pham's death. The city council voted earlier this month to outsource 18 city services, from firefighting to maintenance, information technology and personnel.

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