Getting laid off is one of the most horrifying things that can happen to an employee. If an employee faces layoff from the employer, it is quite common to feel rejected, and many employees take a lot of time to pick themselves up. However, if you have faced such a situation, you will need to act early if you want to receive your benefits and have a better career. There are many things you can do if you are laid off.
In this article, we will discuss what to do at the time of a layoff from the employer. However, before that, we will discuss the meaning of getting “laid off.” Apart from that, you will also learn the major differences between getting laid off and getting fired. Finally, we will provide you with tips on what steps to take after you have been laid off. Hence, to learn more, read on through to the end of the article.
What Does Laid Off Mean?
According to Indeed.com,
“Getting laid off from a job means being terminated from your position, with or without a prior notice and severance package. Often, you get laid off through no fault of your own. If you are wondering, “What does laid off mean?” it typically means that there is no longer a need for your current position.”
There are many reasons why a company might decide to lay off employees:
- The business decided to close down its production operations.
- The business closed down due to the occurrence of a disaster.
- There is a shortage of essential resources in the company.
- The company is facing a shortage or breakdown of machinery.
- The company needs to cut down production and is hence considering a downsize.
- The business is going through a major restructuring process.
- Some other companies acquired this company or merged it into itself.
- The company must be facing a shortage of funds to pay salaries to employees.
Major Differences Between Getting Laid Off And Getting Fired
According to TechTarget.com,
“Lay-offs generally occur because of restructuring, economic recession, mergers, and buyouts. Still, they can be jarring and cause a lot of negative emotions. It’s important not to act on these. Handle the departure courteously and professionally so that your reputation remains intact and no bridges are burned.”
Layoff happens when the company does not have the ability or the need to afford certain job positions. The employee is terminated not due to a mistake of the employee. However, an employee gets fired due to poor performance or inappropriate behavior in the organization.
In most cases, employees get various benefits or might get reinstated when the company is able to afford the employee. However, in some other cases, the termination is considered final for the employee.
What To Do If You Are Laid Off?
According to an article in Harvard Business Review,
“Being laid off is not a reflection of your skill set — it’s a reflection of your former company’s lack of proper planning during a turbulent economy or of its change in business strategy. You have capabilities. You are smart. You can find a new job or change careers.”
Once you are “laid off” by your employer, you must take stock of the various benefits and the final pay that your company provides you before you leave. Here are some of the things you must definitely do:
1. Request A Severance Package
To get the severance package, you will need to negotiate the severance agreement. Apart from that, check various offerings within the package. You can also take the help of an attorney if you struggle to understand the complicated language of the severance agreement. Make sure that the severance package benefits are at par with the loss you have faced.
2. Collect The Severance Letter And Pay
Once you have negotiated your severance agreement, you must collect your final paycheck, as well as the severance pay. Make sure that the amount you are receiving from your employer is correct. Also, collect the severance letter, which explains the exact reason for your termination.
3. Get Payment For PTOs
As per company policies, if you are laid off, you are eligible to ask for payments regarding your unused sick days and paid leave days. To understand your company’s paid time off (PTO) policies, consult the employee handbook.
4. Review Your Retirement Plans
Most employers offer 401k retirement plans to their employees. However, in some cases, you cannot continue the plan if you change the job. Ask your HR whether you can do that or not. If the HR cannot do that, you can open a rollover IRA and reinvest your old 401k money there. If you try to cash out the old 401k, you will need to pay penalties for that.
5. Review The Insurance Benefits
Check the insurance benefits that you are getting from your employer, and find out which of them must be removed and in what time frame. If you do not understand something, do not hesitate to ask about that from your employer (preferably the HR).
In most cases, insurance benefits only last long until the premiums are paid. Some companies pay premiums for a month in advance. If the company is doing a mass layoff, the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act asks all employers to provide 60 days’ notice before the lay-off date. They must pay the benefits and payments and will administer the final check on the final date.
If you are laid off by your employer, you will need to move forward. All you need to do here is remain calm and come to terms with your emotions. Although losing your job is terrible, you must still relax and look for better opportunities that await you. You must understand that layoffs happen due to reasons that are beyond the control of an employee.
Hence, before you leave, it is important for you to ensure that you are receiving all the benefits that you are deserving of. Do you have any more recommendations regarding what to do when an employee is laid off? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments section below.
A passionate writer and an avid reader, Soumava is academically inclined and loves writing on topics requiring deep research. Having 3+ years of experience, Soumava also loves writing blogs in other domains, including digital marketing, business, technology, travel, and sports.