HR Management & Compliance

What Experts Are Telling Your Employees to Do When They Get Laid Off

Unfortunately, businesses have ups and downs, and when going through those downs—or even simply to improve the bottom line—they sometimes go through restructuring and lay people off.laid off
This can happen even in a relatively strong economy. CNN is reporting that as recently as January of this year, we saw major layoffs by companies like BuzzfeedVerizon, and Gannett.
But this news is interesting for another reason. With a target audience of employees, the title of the CNN article is “Just got laid off? Do these 5 things before you leave.” Here’s some advice for employees losing their jobs.

‘Ask About All Your Pay’

First, CNN recommends that employees find out specifically how much they will see on their last paycheck and that they verify whether or not that will include any unused, but accrued, paid time off (PTO) days. The laws vary state-by-state on whether this is a requirement.

‘Hold Off on Signing for Your Severance’

Many employers ask employees to sign a severance agreement in order to receive severance pay. HR professionals should know that employees might not simply sign whatever is put in front of them and might have questions or even seek legal counsel.

‘Make Sure You’re Eligible for Unemployment’

Whether an employee is let go for cause, resigns, or is terminated not for cause can impact their eligibility for unemployment benefits. Generally, being let go without cause as part of a restructuring will mean eligibility for unemployment. That may not be the case if someone is terminated for cause or if they voluntarily resign.

‘Make Sure You’re Health Insurance Is Covered’

Health insurance is a highly valued benefit for many employees. Few things can make losing one’s job worse than losing one’s health insurance at the same time. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) applies here; employees should ensure they understand their options.

‘Take Your Savings with You’

Many employees take advantage of employer-sponsored 401(k) programs or health savings accounts (HSAs). They’ll want to know what happens to the money in these accounts when they leave.
While geared toward recently-laid-off employees, CNN offers an interesting perspective to employers and HR professionals working through the logistics of a layoff. It shines some light on what employees may be most anxious about and, therefore, offers an opportunity to think ahead about ways to alleviate that stress.

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