A layoff is not the same as losing your job, but it could have a dramatic impact on your income. Many employers routinely shut down for a period of time for many possible reasons. The annual change of seasons might make it impossible to perform certain types of work. Maybe the workplace needs to undergo annual maintenance and upkeep. Something unexpected might occur that forces a temporary shutdown, and so might an extreme weather event, like flooding, that causes structural damage to the workplace.
No matter what the reason for a layoff might be, you have rights. The following gives you a closer look at your rights during a layoff.
The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to give their employees at least 60 days advance notice prior to the temporary halt of work. The advance notice enables workers to prepare for the layoff and gives employers time to explain why and for how long. This way, workers are not caught off-guard by a sudden mass layoff and have time to adjust.
The WARN Act also requires employers to notify the state’s dislocated worker agency and the mayors, county chairs, and other elected officials at the local level. The federal act applies to all job providers who have at least 100 qualifying workers.
Your workplace might be a union shop in which you have rights laid out in your collective bargaining agreement. The union contract might enable you to remain working instead of taking a layoff.
If the work slowdown does not affect all workers, it might be possible for union members with more seniority to bump a less-senior worker from a work position. The union contract should detail how the change would work, and you might have to accept a different pay amount to stay working during the layoff period.
You can apply for and receive unemployment benefits while you are laid off from work. Your employer should not interfere with the process, and the Pennsylvania unemployment office should approve your properly filed claim.
Although you still have a job, you are not working nor being paid during the layoff. The lack of work and income should qualify you for unemployment benefits.
Currently, the maximum weekly Pennsylvania unemployment benefit is $572, or $580 with dependents, which is less than many full-time workers normally would earn.
Benefits Remain Active
While you are laid off, your work benefits should remain in effect. Any work-provided health insurance, retirement accounts, and other benefits stay active.
You might have to pay any usual benefits contribution, but that might wait until you return to work. Then, your work might deduct the total amount owed towards health insurance and other benefits that might require you to pay a regular contribution.
Any retirement accounts should remain active, too. You probably would not be able to make contributions to your account while off work, but they should resume once you are back on duty.
Philadelphia Employment Attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Will Protect Your Rights During a Layoff
If you have a concern regarding a layoff, one of our experienced Philadelphia employment attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. can review your case. You can contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we represent clients in South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.