If you think you are about to be laid off, here is some advice from an HR expert.

As you walk into the Big Ortho building, the eerie silence is impossible to ignore. The usual buzz of conversation and activity has been replaced by an unsettling quiet. The executive leadership team has been conspicuously absent, holding frequent off-site meetings. Compounding the sense of unease, sales figures are disappointingly low, and your boss, once amiable and approachable, now seems distant and preoccupied. These signs point to the possibility of impending layoffs, a situation no employee wants to face. If you find yourself in this unsettling position, it’s crucial to seek advice from an HR expert on how to navigate the potential transition.

Advice from an HR expert if you think that you’re about to be laid off:

  1. Ask About Severance: First, find out if there’s a severance package being offered. It’s crucial to know what kind of support you’ll receive as you transition out of your role. Understanding your severance can help you move past the initial shock and start planning your next steps.
  2. Understand the Legal Details: Severance agreements are legal documents, often written in complex legal language. Make sure HR explains each section to you. It’s also a good idea to consult with your own legal counsel to fully understand your rights and options. Remember, severance isn’t always guaranteed, and each company handles it differently.
  3. Context of Layoffs: Layoffs typically happen due to strategic changes or financial issues within the company. They’re often a short-term cost-saving measure. If you’ve experienced layoffs before, you’ll know that each one can be very different.
  4. The WARN Act: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). This is a key regulation in the US concerning layoffs. If a company plans to lay off a large number of employees within a 30-day period, they must provide a 60-day notice. Some companies might stagger layoffs to avoid this requirement, so be aware of your rights under the WARN Act.
  5. Reasons for Layoffs: Officially, layoffs are business decisions and not a reflection of your performance. The roles being cut are often determined by strategy shifts or financial constraints. Sometimes, it can seem random, as decisions might be influenced by various factors, including who was recently hired or internal department targets.
  6. It’s Not About You: Most importantly, remember that layoffs are usually about the company’s needs and not your personal performance. It’s often a result of broader organizational issues or changes in strategy.

Knowing this can help you navigate the process and plan your next steps with a clearer mind.