Laid Off vs. Fired: What’s the Difference and What Are Your Rights?

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It’s not always easy to tell the difference between being laid off and being fired. In fact, many people aren’t even sure of their rights in either situation. In this blog post, we will discuss the key differences between being laid off and being fired, as well as your rights in each situation.

Laid Off (Definition): When a company eliminates positions due to downsizing, a change in needs, or closure.

Fired (Definition): When an employee is let go for cause, such as poor performance.

Laid Off vs. Fired: Does The Difference Matter?

The primary difference between being laid off and fired is that a layoff is due to no fault of your own, while being fired means that you have been let go for a specific reason. If you are laid off, it is generally due to downsizing or a change in the company’s needs.

For example, if a company is closing its doors, all employees will be laid off. If a company is doing well but needs to reduce its workforce, it may lay off employees who have been with the company for a shorter period of time or who are in lower-level positions.

In contrast, if you are fired, it is because your employer has determined that you are not meeting their expectations. This could be due to poor performance, disciplinary issues, or a number of other reasons.

It’s important to note that being laid off is not the same as quitting. If you quit your job, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. However, if you are laid off, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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Your Rights In Either Situation

If you are laid off, you have the right to severance pay and unemployment benefits (if you qualify). You also have the right to look for another job without restrictions from your former employer.

If you are fired, you do not have the right to severance pay or unemployment benefits. However, you do have the right to file for unemployment if your state allows it.

In either situation, you also have the right to a reference from your former employer.

Should You Seek Legal Counsel?

If you have been laid off or fired and are unsure of your rights, it is always best to seek legal counsel. An experienced employment law attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and help you navigate the next steps.

In the event of being laid off, here’s when you should seek legal counsel:

– If you were promised a certain amount of severance pay and are not receiving it

– If you believe you were laid off due to discrimination

– If you signed a non-compete agreement and are unsure of the next steps

In the event of being fired, here’s when you should seek legal counsel:

– If you were fired due to discrimination

– If you were fired in retaliation for reporting illegal activity

– If you believe your firing was wrongful

Next Steps:

If you have been laid off or fired, the first step is to understand your rights. Once you know your rights, you can decide whether or not to seek legal counsel.

If you do decide to seek legal counsel, be sure to consult with an experienced employment law attorney who can advise you of your best course of action.

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