I was laid off but my employer asked me to keep working

A reader writes:

I found out last week that I am being laid off from my job. It was the nicest layoff I could have asked for though, despite the circumstance – I saw it coming as my manager and I have been discussing growth opportunities here, but in a company that’s downsizing and only hiring entry-level positions, nothing has come up. My current position has become irrelevant as focuses in our product have changed and my role is no longer existing.

They have offered me severance, but I am expected to still be here until the end of the month. I’ve already known about this for a week and still have three weeks to go. My manager also told me to approach HR about all the details and whatever it is I have to do formally in this situation, but HR said they need to talk to my manager first, who’s been away and is now crazy busy. Hence, I don’t even know when my last day is, what we are doing with my vacation days, or if I’m having an exit interview. This is indeed frustrating as if I’m no longer going to be employed, I’d like to start planning my life beyond my workplace and start getting my ducks in a row.

Is it normal to be asked to stay on for a certain length of time after being laid off? Or am I being taken advantage of, or should I appreciate they are paying me to work a bit longer plus a severance? Everyone I’ve told has said this is strange. What I like about it is that it shows to other employees that I’m valued and not being let go for any other reasons (and mysteriously left with a box of my belongings in my hand). However, it’s extremely hard to come into work now and be motivated. Because it’s our slow season, there isn’t really much for me to do to tie lose ends if you will, and certainly doesn’t require me to be here for another three weeks. I appreciate that I’ll be paid while I work plus get a severance package, but I really would rather be spending my days job hunting instead of toiling away here when I know I’m not needed here any longer. And as people start to hear that I’m leaving, I feel I’m going to have to have the conversation as to WHY several times since I’m still coming in.

This isn’t uncommon. The most common thing you see with layoffs is having people leave the day they’re told the news, but there are definitely organizations and particular jobs where people get advance notice of the layoff and are asked to stay a few weeks or even a few months longer.

There are legitimate reasons for doing it both ways. Sometimes it makes sense to have people leave immediately (along with paying severance so that their paychecks aren’t cut off that day) because having laid-off employees stick around can be hard on everyone (the people being laid off, obviously, but also their coworkers, who often feel guilty and awkward) and can prevent the company from moving forward and starting to recover. Also, understandably, the people who are being laid off are sometimes too upset to effectively do their jobs and in some cases can cause problems (like saying bitter things to clients).

But other times it makes sense to ask people to stay on for some specific period of time to transition their work. It sounds like that’s what your employer was intending, and they may have just overestimated how long you’d need (or want) to do that.

It doesn’t sound like they’re taking advantage of you — you’re presumably free to move on earlier if you want to. But if there’s not a lot for you to do and you’d like to continue to get paid for this time, one option would be to say to your manager, “I’m finding I have some extra time most days, since I’m just working on transitioning my work. Given that, would it be okay if I spent some of my spare time working on my job search? I’ll of course make sure that it doesn’t interfere with anything I need to do here.” Most managers will be glad to say yes to this; most managers feel awful about having to lay people off and will be glad for an opportunity to be accommodating and helpful, as long as it really isn’t getting in the way of anything you have to do for your job.

Also, speaking of things you should ask your manager, tell her today that you haven’t been able to get clear information from HR about your last day or how your vacation days will be handled, and ask what you need to do to get a clear answer to that this week. At a minimum, you should push to get your last day nailed down; it’s not reasonable for them to keep you hanging on that. Let the question of whether there will be an exit interview go — if they offer one at some point, that’s fine, and if they don’t, that’s fine too. (The exit interview is for their benefit, not yours, so there’s no reason to let it be another thing that’s stressing you out.)

You’re feeling like you don’t have enough info to start planning what comes next, but there’s no reason you can’t start job searching or making other plans with the info they’ve given you so far. In fact, I wonder if because you’ve been rattled by the news, it’s getting in the way of you seeing clearly that you don’t actually need these answers from them to begin your work of moving on. You really do have everything you need to start that process. Good luck!

{ 65 comments… read them below }

  1. Kat*

    When my entire department was eliminated, they kept us on for an additional three weeks to handle any last-minute stuff while they were working on outsourcing. After three days, we had nothing else to work on. So we all spent the last two and a half weeks watching YouTube videos, polishing our resumes and looking for jobs. I was happy to have the extra pay (we got severance commiserate with our tenure with the company – I had only been there a little over a year, so I got three weeks’ worth), but I wish they’d just tacked an extra two weeks severance on and let us go home.

    1. TrainerGirl*

      A few years ago, my department was outsourced, and we got 3.5 months’ notice. Which was great, because I found a job about 1.5 months after I found out. I was lucky enough to be able to time my start date for my new job a week after my last day so that I could collect my severance, which was sizable. A lot of people waited to start their job search, not realizing that it would take time. Two of us, who started looking right away, had jobs when we left, which was great because we didn’t have to use any of our severance to live on. I really appreciated how much notice they gave us, and no one (except contractors) left before our end date. We were able to keep the department running smoothly and the transition was pretty easy.

      1. Ajay*

        I was laid off last week. However, in my case they told us that my last day of work is July 20th, but my termination date is Sept 20th.
        I don’t really have to go to work but I am still considered their employee till then. Also, if i take any job in between I will lose my healtcare but I,have a contract opportunity that I want to take but as a contract I don’t get any medical benefits. My question is that how can my company HR will get notified that I found new job unless I notify them my self ?

  2. the_scientist*

    A similar thing happened at my old organization. There was a restructuring and a few people in my division had their positions eliminated. I thought the way the org handled it was fairly classy- the re-org was announced three months before it took effect, which basically meant three months notice that your position had been eliminated. The company also offered severance, but had it work so that if you left during the three-month “layoff notice” period, you could still collect your full severance package- as long as you gave two weeks notice. All the people in my division found jobs before the three months were up, and therefore basically collected double paycheques for a while. And, as the amount of work they had to do wound down, they were free to use at-work time to job search. While I don’t doubt that it would be tricky to motivate yourself under these circumstances, it seemed that handling the layoffs this way worked out well for both the company and the people who got laid off.

    1. SusanIvanova*

      My entire team got laid off because of internal politics, but they kept 5 of us for a 2 month “working notice period” for the “transition” (insert as much sarcasm as you can take) while the others had a 2 month “non-working notice period”. The big difference – the “non-working” folks could take another job and keep the severance package, the “working” ones had to stick it out or lose it all.

      It was just as morale-killing as you can imagine.

    2. MsMaryMary*

      OP, I’d strongly suggest clarifying with HR what happens to your severance if you find another job before your last day. Or, honestly, getting documenation of your severance agreement in general. OldJob paid up to two years severance after one layoff, but the payments ended as soon as someone found another job.

  3. Mena*

    This is quite common and really nice of your employer to give you an advanced ‘heads up’ so you can begin getting organized (freshen your resume, start looking around), all while still employed and with severance waiting for you at the end. I’ve seen people be given 10 weeks notice, with severance waiting until AFTER actual departure. Enjoy this opportunity to begin your job search while still having an income!

  4. ali*

    Oh, I feel for you. There is nothing like knowing your job has been eliminated but still have to keep doing it. My company gave me 3 MONTHS notice. Which was great for job searching and all of that, but I had to work through the end date in order to get my severance (which was only one month). It was a tough situation. Even after 3 months, they didn’t know how they were going to keep doing the services my department offered, so they decided to keep one person (out of 5) and cut some of the services. 4 months later, they asked me to come back because one person couldn’t do it all!

    1. AVP*

      Heh, my uncle got “laid off” about five years ago and they’ve been “extending his tenure” for six months at a time ever since then. Obviously not ideal but he is close to retirement so it makes more sense to play it out and let his pension vest than think about starting over somewhere new. Sometimes they just haven’t thought through the new workflow…. Ali, had you already found a new job or did you end up going back to the old one? How did it work out?

      1. ali*

        I was still looking for something permanent that I enjoyed and was contracting, so I went back – I really loved the job. That was 3.5 years ago and I’m still doing it. I was only there for a year prior to the layoff, so I’ve been back way longer than I was there originally!

    2. MissDisplaced*

      We recently had a guy get laid off, and within a month they brought him back as a consultant.
      But I still think that kind of sucks as he was near retirement in 2 years.

      1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

        He should contact an employment attorney – if they let him go as a milestone approached, and brought him back, he might be able to prove that they made the move to deprive him of a pension (or other rights).

    3. Natalie*

      At my last job we had a large round of layoffs when we lost our sister firm (and largest client) to a hostile takeover. Because of the nature of the layoffs, in January we knew there would be staff reductions, in April we knew they would be effective on October 1st, and in June the individual cuts were determined/announced. It was an odd year, to say the least.

    4. Rebecca in Dallas*

      Same here, I had a month’s notice that my position was being eliminated and I had to work that month in order to get my severance. I’m still not really sure why they did it that way, I mean I was really unmotivated to work that month. First I was so upset that I was losing my job (my husband had just gone back to school full time) that at least once a day I had to hide in the bathroom or my car and cry. Then once I got a job offer at another company, I was just so ready to be out of that place and start my new job!

      Haha, I still remember doing something for one of my salespeople that was technically against company policy (but I had authority to override if I needed to make a customer happy, which is what was needed). The salesperson I was helping was like, “Can you do that?” And I didn’t even have to say it out loud, but the look I gave her just said, “What are they going to do? Fire me?” She just started laughing.

  5. MissDisplaced*

    I’m truly sorry to hear about your layoff. I know it can be pretty frustrating, but this is indeed pretty normal, and all things considered, this is actually a good thing for you that they want you to stay on longer. So, even though you feel the normal hurt and frustration, try to keep that in check and don’t burn bridges in your last few weeks.

    Some years back, we were told of the division closing in August, and I was asked to stay on until November 30th and not take another job until after my end date. I was given a severance, unemployment, payout of unused vacation, and even a small bonus to stay. It also gave me time to gather my samples, and get recommendations, etc.
    I could job search and interview (time off was allowed for that) but I just could not set my start date until December.

    It can feel pretty demoralizing to be there–I know. But remember, it is generally better to get paid your salary as LONG as you can, as unemployment pays very little. So, what’s a few weeks in the scheme of things if they are otherwise agreeable? There is nothing to say you still can’t BEGIN your job search on weekends and evenings outside of work. You will find it generally takes a long time to find a good job anyway.

    1. Ex Resume Reviewer*

      UI does not pay much at all, so I’d definitely stick it out and get as much salary as possible. My state has a benefits calculator, which I just used to see what I’d be eligible for if I was laid off today. I’d get over $1,000 less per month than what I get paid. Definitely a good reminder to beef up my emergency fund.

    2. Natalie*

      Plus, in many states (all?) you can still collect unemployment, you just have to wait until your severance “runs out” (by whatever calculation they use). So you’re not giving up future UI.

    3. Hanging In There*

      Thanks for this reply – I am currently in the same position, was let go but asked to stay on a month to “wrap things up.” Well, pretty much wrapped up everything in a couple days and now my manager is asking me to take on new projects. It feels completely demoralizing and I can’t say I’m putting in my best work anymore. It just feels nice to have someone acknowledge those feelings and basically say “keep your chin up and stick it out for the payment,” so, thanks!

  6. CR*

    This is basically the position I’m in now, except my contract is ending and I have to stay til the end. I’m basically applying for jobs and going on Buzzfeed 8 hours a day. Take the opportunity to enjoy some downtime while still getting paid!

  7. Christopher Tracy*

    This is a very kind thing your employer is doing, OP. When I was laid off, I was asked to leave that day (though I did get severance and my unused vacation time, which wasn’t much, paid out). I would have preferred to have been kept on until I found something else. Luckily, my time unemployed wasn’t too long (maybe six weeks at the most), but still – I would have gladly stayed in my office and job searched all day on their dime.

    1. Stranger than fiction*

      Me too. Three times in five years. It seems to me smaller companies that want to get rid of a handful of people due to strictly financial reasons do it this way. Perhaps to save face and move on quickly. Larger corps and certain industries where reorgs and larger scale layoffs are normal (say, due to government contracts coming and going) appear to do it like your company is and give a notice period.

      1. Colette*

        I’ve been laid off both ways. In some ways, having notice is better (time to say goodbye and network) and in others it isn’t (having to console coworkers who are upset that I’m leaving).

        1. TrainerGirl*

          It is hard when you’re the only one (or one of a few) getting laid off. I’ve been in that situation, as well as having my whole group eliminated, and even though it still sucks, it was easier. I had one position where our manager let us go part-time, so that we could stay on twice as long and keep our benefits. I really appreciated that…I went to the doctor a lot during that last month. I was laid off 3 times in 13 months, and only missed a week and a half. I am still amazed at that.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      Same here, out that day with six weeks severance (one for each year I was there) but no vacation payout. My unemployment didn’t start until the severance was finished. That really helped me because I ended up using EVERY tier of UI right up until the last second before I found a job.

  8. Joseph*

    As AAM says, I’d just ask your manager if he minds you using spare time to work on your job search. Assuming he says yes (very likely), this becomes a pretty ideal scenario as layoffs go: You’re getting paid for the next couple weeks to be at a desk with a fast computer/great internet access/printer you can use for your job search. And your company is likely to give you a solid reference, since it wasn’t in any way about you, just circumstances. While it still sucks to be laid off, this is about as gentle of a landing as you can reasonably hope for.

  9. KK*

    This happened to my wife. She was told in May that her position was being eliminated as it was being offshored and her last day would be July 29. She is still there since the transition is not complete. She will be receiving severance & qualify for unemployment but she is happy to keep working as she can use her health insurance instead of mine, she continues to accrue PTO and still get a paycheck.

  10. Bend & Snap*

    Sounds like paid job hunting time…nice to have a cushion even though it stinks to be laid off!

  11. F.*

    Talk to HR about the details of your severance. Some pay out regardless, others terminate the severance as soon as you start another position. It usually involves a signed agreement. You will also need to know about your health insurance, how to move your 401-k, and other details. Some companies do not do an exit interview, but you should still be provided with information to help you tie up the loose ends.

    You are fortunate that you are receiving this much notice and were not suddenly walked to the door with a box of personal belongings, as I have twice experienced. You get the emotional shock out of the way while you still get a paycheck and insurance. While I can understand layoffs with no notice from a company’s viewpoint, to the employee it can feel like a real kick in the gut, especially if you are the sole means of support and insurance for your family (as I was).

    Best wishes in your job search! I landed something even better, and I know you will, too.!

  12. Sami*

    If I were you, OP, I’d also be using my health (including dental and vision) benefits to the max. This is assuming you have those.
    Hopefully you won’t be out of work for long, but you never know what benefits and their requirements a new job will bring. Good luck.

    1. Red*

      I told my housemate that when he was considering leaving a toxic job – “Before you leave, make sure you get everything you can out of your health insurance, dental, vision, etc” – and three days later he was in the hospital having an emergency appendectomy. When he got home I said “Ok, look, that was NOT what I meant.” :)

    2. Natalie*

      And your FSA, if you have one. They are fully funded at the beginning of the plan year and you can use all of that money even if you leave early – the FSA administrator eats any shortfall between the funding amount and your payroll deductions. (This is one thing that unused FSA funds end up covering.)

      1. teclatrans*


        If I am laid off in May, can medical expenses incurred in August still be reimbursed through the FSA if funds are available?

        1. GloriaB*

          No. The expense would need to be occurred prior to termination date. The only way to use unused fsa funds after term date is to elect COBRA for fsa. Since COBRA payments are post-tax, the only real reason to elect COBRA for fsa is if you have a large unused balance and no claims to submit.

        2. Purple Jello*

          No, and you also only have a limited time to file for reimbursement if that’s the way your plan is set up. (I think ours is 30 days).

  13. Artemesia*

    My work involved annual contracts and the layoff decision to eliminate 50 jobs (by whole division) was made after the contract renewal date so those of us who had not been there long (I had been there 3 years) were given terminal contracts for the following year — yes a whole year while being laid off. Those with long seniority got buy outs. This worked out great for me because having already moved my husband out of his career track to this town, it was not an option for me to find a job outside the city we were in. During the terminal year, I made the connections that led to rehire and working at the post merger organization for another 33 years.

  14. NacSacJack*

    The WARN ACT in the US requires that workers be given a 60 days notice of layoffs if the employer has more than 100 employees. Other conditions apply and it’s best if you search the US Dept of Labor for the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notificiation Act. When you were notified, you should have been given a letter indicating your last day. If you didn’t, what you received was a “soft” notice, essentially, “Hey we’re laying you off, ETA TBD”. Now, having read some of the documentation, it can be as soon as tomorrow or some time next winter. It’s best to ask your boss / manager what he expects you to do in the spare time you have. As mentioned in other comments, he may let you job search or polish your resume. Just remember, you don’t get to keep your computer and your IT dept may prevent you from saving to a flash drive, so be sure to somehow be able to access that resume. At my company, depending on the position, people were given soft notices at first, then handed a letter 60 days prior to their last date (some people were called in off vacation to get the letter), and then, either walked out immediately (IT depts. often do this) or work the 60 days. If they are walked out, they get paid for the 60 days they could have worked. My company in the past stated, if you get a job during the 60 days notice period and accept it, you are to have considered to have voluntarily resigned and you lose not only the remainder of your 60 days pay, but also your severance.

      1. Megs*

        And it looks like “mass layoff” means at least 500 people during a 30-day period, or 50-499 employees if that equals at least 33% of the active workforce. I’m guessing that probably doesn’t apply here.

  15. kbbaus*

    I’ve been laid off three times and have worked through a period of time and been walked out that day. I prefer to have the notice. My very first corporate role was at a non-profit. They told me in August that my role was being eliminated December 31. My manager was great and let me transition my work in that first few weeks and then focus on job hunting the rest of the time. I was lucky and found a new job that started in November. And I was still awarded a severance package. The other time I got notice it was about 2 weeks, and again my manager was great and let me spend most of my time job hunting. The other time I was told in the morning to wrap everything up that day and was walked out early in the afternoon. It can seem awkward at first to keep working when you know you’re on borrowed time, so to speak, but it has worked out for me so much better in the long run. Good luck with your search!

  16. Jennifer M.*

    I haven’t found this to be unusual. I’ve been laid off twice. First time was in December 2007. The company ultimately laid off at least 10% of the staff. I thought I was safe because there was a big wave of lay-offs and then nothing and then there were more a few weeks later. Officially the deal was 30 days’ notice plus a base of 4 weeks severance plus an additional week for every year of service plus a full payout of universal leave (combined sick and vacation). For me that ended up being 16 weeks’ of pay. Oh, and during the notice period, you didn’t actually have to come in for work and if you did you were free to job search and they provided a service to review CVs and interview coaching (I heard when they did a lay off in 2011 they weren’t nearly this generous). Because my SVP was a jerk and waited until my director was on a trans Atlantic flight to visit a project site to let me know (I was leaving frantic messages at her hotel to call me as soon as she checked in), I was told that I could take longer if I needed it. Because our project was in crisis mode and I was leaving, one other manager “C” had resigned (there were 3 of us), our associate “S” took a promotion in another department, and our intern was also leaving, it took me 6 weeks to get everything wrapped up so I left the Friday after MLK Jr Day and started a new job on Monday.

    Most recent layoff I found out first week of September 2015 that I would be laid off at the end of the month . They didn’t want it to be immediate because we were a government contractor and new contract wins could have come through in the last days of the fiscal year. They also gave me 2.5 months of severance and a vacation payout.

  17. hbc*

    I was laid off about 6 months into my very first career-type job, with two months to continue working and two months severance after that. Some of my teammates had 8 months until the end and 6 months of severance. It was part of a big restructuring, so I’m sure the notice was legally required, though I think someone they’d been trying to get out the door for awhile was escorted out that day.

    I did a little bit of wrap up, job searched on the clock, left mid-afternoon, and ended up interviewing for two positions in that very company. Stayed for another 8 years. It ended up being a really good thing for me, which I never would have guessed when the guy with the layoff rep stopped at my cube to ask me to join him in his office.

  18. B*

    This is really nice since you will be getting paid and your medical insurance will also last longer. Worse comes to worse you read a book, search for jobs at the office, go on interviews, etc.

    1. Isabel C.*

      Yep! I had this at my last job: the last couple weeks there wasn’t much to do, and they were very understanding about interviews.

  19. Artemesia*

    Cobra is nice but super expensive but you get essentially 60 days of coverage before you have to pay (pay retroactively) — so the longer you are on the job, and looking for the new job, the more likely you will have that transitional insurance without paying for it. (basically you file for Cobra and don’t pay and then IF you have a medical crisis during that period, you pay the fee, if you don’t you just wait to visit a doctor until your new job insurance kicks in. ) We did this when I retired and my already retired husband was not eligible for medicare for a couple of months. It saves hundreds of dollars as Cobra is really expensive.

  20. Stephen Zakur*

    This is not at all uncommon and some companies are moving towards longer notification periods — up to ninety days — but also cutting back on severance. There’s likely some financial incentives to the company for doing this that reduces the amount of money they’re reporting as extraordinary expenses (e.g. restructuring) lower.

    Remember, at this point you’re supposed to be focusing on finding your next gig so get your work done, but keep your eye on the ball.

  21. SB*

    My only layoff experience was when my (then) organization laid of 81 of it’s 700+ employees. Because I live in California, a WARN notice was required due to the size of the layoff, (http://www.edd.ca.gov/jobs_and_training/Layoff_Services_WARN.htm), and I was given 60 days notice that I “may” be laid off. Because I was a non-essential, (and non-union), staff member in a medical setting, I knew that “may” pretty much meant that I was going to be laid off on day 60.

    Honestly, I was ready to move on and appreciated the notice, but I know that other employees didn’t take it well. My employer was also very receptive to me interviewing for other jobs during that 60 days, presumably because, yeah, it sucks to lay people off.

    It doesn’t sound like a WARN notice was in effect for the OP, but it is a possible reason, (in California at least), for an employer keeping you around after it’s already been determined that you’ll be laid-off.

  22. MsMaryMary*

    One of my clients just acquired another company. Some employees were laid off as of the close date of the sale, some within a few weeks, and some have been asked to stay until the end of the year or early next year (a majority will stay on permanently). It depends on the job. There were marketing people whose roles were made redundant in the merger and were let go right away. Some accounting people could stay on until March or April 2017. My client contacts are working under the assumption that the longer term layoffs could leave for another job at any time.

  23. Mimmy*

    Definitely not uncommon, though my experience was a bit odd. I was given a full month’s notice for my layoff, which was nice but a little awkward at first. The odd part was the fact that, instead of eliminating the position entirely, it was changed from part-time to full-time, and some of the duties were changed. I was invited to apply, but I chose not to. I did not get to meet my replacement, or even speak to her, so there was no true transition, imo.

  24. Original Letter-writer*

    Letter-writer here!

    Thank-you to all for your kind words, comments, and suggestions/ideas. It’s encouraging to read your similar stories with happy endings.

    I actually live in Canada, so my severance is one week for every year worked in my province. I basically got laid off almost 2 years to the date of when I started, plus I’m getting 2 additional paid weeks severance. Hopefully after reading Alison’s reply and all of your responses too, I will talk to HR this week and finally sign off on this as this is still all I know.

    Funny enough as one reader suggested, I maxed out my vision benefits a few weeks ago for the year on a pair of sweet frames (even though I have 20/20 vision… it’s FREE so why not?!) Unfortunately to make the situation a bit more complicated, we were hoping I would get a mat leave from my employer, but that hasn’t worked out yet (mat leave is 1 year here). Murphy’s Law, it will finally happen mid-job search! But we’ve decided to not try to plan life too much and jut let things happen. I’ve also been contemplating ways to spend my time unemployed aside from the job search – I’ve been contemplating yoga teacher training a while now and maybe it’s time for that! Or maybe read some good books as another reader above suggested (my new years resolution was to read Harry Potter finally).

    I have come away from this feeling more confident about the near future. Long time follower of this blog – and it always saves the day!

  25. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    Yes I went through this once – and was given a four-week working notice.

    Four reasons for this –

    1) I was given the opportunity to look for a job within the corporation, not that they were especially willing to hire someone who has been let go by another division;

    2) Your layoff COULD be cancelled, if someone else who wasn’t laid off decided to move on, or they found another way to keep you

    3) Allow you time to find another job – if you walk into another job, there’s no UI paid out.

    4) Allow a transition of work.

    Of course, they called me three times a week for help for a number of months after my employment terminated but that’s a different story for a different thread.

  26. Bianca*

    My company actually has a policy that they HAVE to give a certain amount of notice for layoffs (not for firings). As in, if there are layoffs or position eliminations or some other kind of termination that isn’t personal to the individual, X amount of notice will be given. The longer you’ve worked here, the longer the amount of notice they have to give.

  27. stevenz*

    The two times this happened to me I was given three months notice. I didn’t feel I was being taken advantage of, I was “grateful” for three more months of pay and the ability to complete some projects. But it’s still weird, as Alison says. If you don’t feel awful about the situation you can actually enjoy your last few weeks. For instance, have a lot of goodbye lunches with your coworkers. But if you do feel awful about it (I did), just keep your head about you and get it over with.

  28. nchappycamper*

    In many companies, if you START another job before your end date, you give up your rights to the severance package. I’d the severance letter very closely so you don’t lose out on a large chunk of cash.

  29. Yolanda*

    I have been laid off and didn’t find out until 2 weeks after because I telecommute. So I worked those 2 weeks expecting to get paid. My former supervisor also wants me to complete a report that I haven’t even started. I feel I should be getting reimbursed for this. What are my options?

  30. Future RHIT*

    I found this article. I am being laid off on July 7th (after 9 years) due to company restructuring. I already took off 2 weeks the last of June back in March. They are laying a lot of people off. I work remotely, I am bored out of my mind. I mean, it’s a spit in the face. Some of the people they offered 32 hours, and the others back to seasonal. I have 2 more weeks of this. It’s gnawing me every time I code a chart. (I do medical coding). I’ve already made my resume pretty and have applied on several ads on Indeed. I’m not hearing back, but I just started applying. How soon do you hear back? I made my resume with SEO key words. I’m glad I took the last 2 weeks off. It means I only have 2 more weeks and then a few days. I signed up for a 2 year college course to get my RHIT in the meantime.

  31. Citizen*

    My manager was fired and as a result, my role is being eliminated. I was told I have 90 days and to search internally and externally for a job. I don’t know what I get for severance, if any and I assume none if I find a position externally before the 90 days are up. I need my benefits -I am a cancer patient. I can’t afford COBRA and Unemployment – who can survive on that? I’m a single parent. I’m a mess/panicking over the insurance. I’ve been there 10 years and the stingy severance is 1 week for every 2 years employed – but my manager, who was FIRED, got a huge pacakage. It’s very unfair.

  32. Must Love Cats*

    Citizen, Have you checked into the cost of Marketplace insurance? It might be an affordable option for you. I believe that you can pick and choose your deductibles and can’t be turned down for pre-existing health conditions. I agree that COBRA is terribly expensive.

    My job was eliminated today after a little over 2 weeks on the job. My manager said it was due to budget cuts. I’ve been out of a job for a year this month and thought things were looking up. Suddenly I’m unemployed again! Argh. Getting 4 whole hours of severence pay. Still in shock.

  33. Lolo*

    I realize this article is older now but I just wanted to share my experience.

    My company, a medical software vendor, went through a major layoff. It impacted about 10% of the company and about 40% of my team.

    Most of us are relieved in a way to get let go. The severance is fairly generous and the company is a disorganized disaster, so we’re happy to move on.

    The odd part is the retention period. Some employees, both with performance issues and high performers, were laid off on the spot. My retention period was about 3 1/2 months. Other coworkers are still there – they’re expected to stay a whopping total of 6 1/2 months if they want to keep severance.

    It’s a huge drain on moral for those of us being laid off but also those who are staying. Managing the team, making plans and keeping everyone on track has been nearly impossible. We’ve all been waisting time watching YouTube, applying for jobs and complaining. I think it will be a relief when this is all over, but it’s still pretty odd.

  34. DER*

    I received notice 2 weeks ago and was offered an internal position with a big pay cut, from Manager to staff, and with no growth. I like the company and the people but this job would kill my work towards certification. I live in VA which is a commonwealth, work at will state. There is no severance, I’ve had no mention of payout of anything, but I have been asked to stay on through June. The other 5 people accepted the reassignments. Also awkward there has been no mention of my departure, only an email explaining a loss of client who is taking their work internal, gratitude to the other 5 who have been with the company 5+ years (I’ve only been there just over 1) and that two of the 5 would be continuing on through the transition. I was notified first, and given the first offer to reassign. They were not surprised that I did not accept, but still odd knowing and no one else knowing. Is this common? I’ve already begun my search, but its difficult I need to pull back on the long hours and I’m not sure how other departments will take this not having been made aware. I don’t want to be the one who says it, because then I come across as disgruntled, but I need to be out on time to talk with recruiters and I need my lunch breaks.

Comments are closed.