10/08/2015 13:34 EDT | Updated 10/08/2016 01:12 EDT

Layoff surprise: Cenovus workers losing jobs barred from building too early

CALGARY — Employees at Calgary-based energy company Cenovus found themselves barred from the building unexpectedly this week when their access cards wouldn't work.

They were also blocked from using company (TSX:CVE) cellphones and computer systems.

What they didn't know was that they were being laid off.

Company officials say the IT department removed several workers from the database before they had been told they were losing their jobs.

The energy company began laying off 540 employees last week.

The layoffs are expected to continue to the end of the year.

Cenovus spokesman Brett Harris admits the layoffs did not go as planned.

“We made a mistake. It’s the last thing we wanted to happen.”

(CTV Calgary)