Getting laid off is news no one wants to hear. But, like it or not, it happens -- and with disturbing frequency in recent times.
While it may be impossible for you to salvage your job once you get your pink slip, there are a few things you can do to make the best of the situation. Below, is an overview of the top 3 things you can do to get the best possible deal with your employer after losing your job, according to Forbes.
1. Take Your Time
You should take some time to digest your severance offer. Under federal age discrimination law, workers who are over 40 may take 21 days to review their severance package. This 21-day period has become somewhat of the industry standard in most companies for workers of all ages. You should take advantage of the 3 weeks to research what's generally offered to workers in your industry or to consult with an attorney.
2. Negotiate Your Severance Package
If you lost your job as part of a group layoff, you may have a harder time negotiating a better severance package. However, it's still worth a shot, especially if you've been with the company for a number of years. Job coaches generally encourage you to aim high, starting with a larger severance payout. If you've been with the company for a while, you can play on their guilt. Through negotiations, departing workers are sometimes able to double their severance period payout, keep health benefits for an extended period, or have the company pay for job coaching.
3. Talk to a Lawyer
Employers often require you to sign a document waiving all right to sue under any federal discrimination statute or state law. You may also be required to sign a non-competition agreement, prohibiting you from working in a similar position or field for a period of time. If so, you should consult an attorney about the non-compete because the repercussions could be devastating.
Job coaches generally advise against filing a suit against a former employer, unless you have a serious claim against the employer. This is because future employers may shy away from hiring someone who has sued an employer in the past.
In addition to negotiating your severance package, you may want to negotiate your exit message. For instance, you might request that your boss announce that you did great work but there wasn't enough room for advancement within the firm. That way, your boss could still be a strong reference for you in your job hunt.
- Find a Chicago Employment Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Severance Pay Laws: Does It Make Sense to Offer Severance Pay? (FindLaw)
- Ten Ways to Handle Losing a Job (FindLaw)
- Your Rights When Losing or Leaving a Job (FindLaw)