Verizon Communications Inc. (“Verizon”) recently offered exit packages to 1,700 employees to voluntarily leave the company. The telecommunications giant, which is the country’s second largest phone company, is offering buyouts to technicians and call center workers in 12 states and Washington D.C. where it operates its land line network.
Although Verizon’s wireless network has been growing fast, its landline revenue fell 1.3 percent last year. The economy and competition from cable companies as well as wireless operators has contributed to Verizon’s landline drop. Rich Young, a spokesman for Verizon stated that “layoffs are a tool of absolute last resort . . . the reality is, the business has changed, and we are adjusting our head count to meet those changes.”
Layoffs are on the rise across the corporate America. Business consultant firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas reported that the computer industry has laid off 32,599 workers to date this year, while the transportation industry has cut 24,193 jobs and the consumer products industry has cut 21,846.
No matter what industry you work in, how important your job is, how well your company is doing, or even how well a different division in your company is performing, you should always be prepared for the worst case scenario. The following are just a few tips to keep in mind if you are ever faced with losing your job:
- If you hear rumors that your company might be laying off workers, start planning whether or not you think you might lose your job. Don’t quit! If you quit or resign, you lose the ability to claim unemployment insurance or a severance package which may be offered. Keep in mind that your company does not have to give you a severance agreement. It is completely optional but more and more companies are offering these packages to prevent potential litigation.
- Update your resume and start networking. Remember that you’re in a stronger position to find another job while you are still employed.
- Figure out your expenses and your monetary resources to determine your financial health. By knowing your financial needs and how much income you need every month, you will be in a better position to choose which benefits are important to you to help you better negotiate a severance package suitable to your needs.
- If you do lose your job, don’t panic. Remember to stay calm and professional. If you are offered a severance agreement, do not sign it immediately. Ask for time to review the document and to have your attorney look at it. It is imperative that you know what rights you are signing away. If you think you might have a claim against the company for any type of employment discrimination, including race, national origin, age, sex, or religion, consider hiring one of our attorneys to review your agreement.
- Make sure you negotiate your severance pay. Talk to your employer about the difficult job market and the financial impact of the layoff. Don’t by shy about reminding your employer about your accomplishments and how you helped the company increase its profits or how you brought in new clients.
- With the expensive cost of healthcare, negotiate to have your employer pay for your health coverage until you find a new job. Also try to have your life insurance and disability insurance covered until your next employment or as long as possible.
Our attorneys have helped many laid off workers negotiate the best possible severance agreement and financial package while ensuring that they were not signing away any of their legal rights. If you have lost your job, call our Severance Package Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you evaluate your rights and options during this trying time.
Disclaimer: Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.