Fired? Downsized? Laid off? Let go? Terminated? Can I Get Severance?

Employees often want to
know if there is a difference between being told they are fired, told they are
being laid off, let go, downsized or terminated. In some instances there are,
but in other instances, regardless of the terminology, fired is fired. Regardless
of the word that is used for your departure, you will no longer be employed at
your current employer and you will need to seek new employment. The questions
that generally stem from there include when will my salary be paid until? When
will my benefits end? Will I receive unemployment benefits? Do I have any
restrictions on my employment? And will I be given a severance package on the
way out?

Receipt of severance may
depend on several items, including among others:

  • whether
    the Company has a severance plan
  • whether
    you are the only person being terminated as a one-off termination or whether
    you are part of a larger group of employees being let go as part of a layoff
  • whether
    your departure is based on your
    performance review
    or in response to a
    performance improvement plan
  • whether
    the Company is closing a portion of the company requiring the Company to
    provide written notice and payments for a set period of time (i.e. WARN
  • whether
    you have been terminated with
    or without cause
  • whether
    the Company is concerned about your departure and wants you to sign an
    agreement releasing any claim(s) you may have raised or could raise against
  • whether
    the Company wants you to sign a
    non-compete agreement

To learn more about what
you Should have Your Severance Package Reviewed Before Signing
, click

If you have been fired,
downsized, laid off, let go or terminated you should speak with an attorney to
find out your rights and obligations. If you have received a severance
agreement or believe you should have received one,
contact Sheree Donath to have your document reviewed.