Losing a job is never easy. Even if you receive severance pay, you face an imminent loss of income, not to mention health insurance and other benefits. Because job searches generally take several months, chances are that you'll go through a period of unemployment. But take heart: Losing your job does not necessarily mean financial disaster. There are plenty of ways to minimize the worries that can accompany unemployment.
Most states require employers to give departing employees their final paychecks in fairly short order -- sometimes on their last day of work. In some states, these time limits vary depending on whether the employee quit or was fired. Many employers break these laws out of ignorance. But violating these laws -- even unwittingly -- can be costly. In some states, if an employer fails to pay a departing employee within the legal time limits, the employer may have to pay additional penalties, interest, and any attorneys' fees and legal costs the employee spends in forcing the employer to comply.
If you've lost your job in a layoff, you are no doubt concerned about your finances, benefits, and finding new work. There is help available to laid-off workers from the government, in the form of unemployment compensation. But your former employer has legal obligations as well. This article explains your legal rights in a layoff, including what your former employer is required to do for you.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, known as COBRA, is a federal law that allows employees to continue their employer-provided health insurance after they are laid off or fired, or they otherwise become ineligible for benefits (for example, because they quit or their hours are reduced
Whether you leave your job voluntarily or through a termination or lay off, there are a number of loose ends you will want to tie up as you walk out the door. You also may want to take advantage of some important legal rights -- including the right to receive your final paycheck relatively quickly and the right to continue your health insurance coverage. Some employees also have the right to receive severance packages: money and/or benefits provided by their employers.
Were you fired from your job because you complained about illegal behavior or asserted your legal rights? If so, you may have a wrongful termination claim for retaliation or whistleblowing. Many employment laws prohibit employers from firing employees for exercising their rights under those laws. Employees