Image Source: Mondo
With inflation and other economic concerns still lingering globally across multiple sectors, major corporations are announcing new layoff plans. This includes Meta and Lyft laying off more than 13%, Twitter over 4000 workers, Amazon up to 10000 and Disney currently in the works. Layoffs are nothing new and they may come unexpectedly, and we should be attentive to what they are and what to do when they occur.
What is a layoff?
The word “layoff” may seem like a scary word that sounds like employers abruptly firing workers improperly. However that’s not the case. Layoff is a temporary or permanent termination of employment, typically occuring in large numbers. This can be done for a number of reasons, including cutting costs, general restructuring, and preparing during economic decline.
What’s required during a layoff?
Under the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notifiction Act, or WARN Act, employers are required to provide a 60 days notice. Some states increase this requirement to 90. Employers who violate this rule will pay penalties to the state, as well as paying out up to 60 days in wages and benefits to those laid off. It’s important to confirm your employer’s actions are legal.
What do I do after being laid off? Am I protected in any way?
Unfortunately, there are no laws requiring employers to offer severance during layoffs. However, some employers may offer severance agreements in exchange for clauses that protect their image and reputation. This includes not speaking against the company, sharing details about them, helping anyone attempting to sue the company, etc
You may also attempt to negotiate your severance terms, if you have legitimate claims. Asking for more in your agreement will not hurt. If you’re 40 or older during your layoff, you have to be given at least 45 days to decide signing the severance package, or 21 days if you’re not part of a mass layoff. You retain certain rights, but it’s really up to the employer.
Can I avoid layoffs?
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which industries are specially prone to layoffs, but according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction, trade/transportation/utilities, professional & business services, and leisure/hospitalty return high layoff rates. So, if you were interested in any of these industries, pay close attention, however there are no jobs safe from layoffs as they occur from uncontrollable factors.