What’s the difference between being laid off and being fired?

what’s the difference as far as what you do afterwards? do you get unemployment if you are laid off?

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7 Responses to “What’s the difference between being laid off and being fired?”

  • Frank112:

    One sounds nicer than the other. Otherwise, no difference whatsoever.

  • Verona:

    Laid off is when the company lets you go but you did nothing wrong. You would get unemployment. It really is termination.
    Fired is when you did something wrong or they just want to get rid of you for any reason (even if the reason is not valid). You will need proof to prove you are entitled to unemployment when fired.

  • Christina:

    People use them interchangeably. Laid off can mean that a person is temporarily out of work, like an electrician who just doesn’t have a job going but they still have a position with a company. They can get unemployment when this happens.

    Firing is permanent. Unemployment is for those who are unemployed by “no fault of their own” so getting unemployment would depend on why you got fired.

  • Bob C:

    If you are in a union, there isn’t much of a difference sometimes. A company will tell you that you are laid off because they dont want any hassles from your union rep. But sometimes they lay you off just because they ran out of work for you to do for the time being. I guess you would probably know whether they laid you off because you were a bad employee or they just ran out of work for you. If you are not in the union, I would bet that they laid you off because they dont have enough work for you. Non union companies can fire somebody a lot easier than a union company. Yes you can collect unemployment if you are laid off.

  • motivation:

    unemployment benefits is the difference.

    if you quit you cant claim benefits but if you were fired you can.

  • kweenjazz:

    fired means you were let go on negative terms and laid off means they had nothing to accommodate you with so they had to let you go or they had cut backs.

  • PharmaRepMiami:

    In today’s economy, being laid off is closer to a possibly reality than a far-fetched event that happens in rare occasions.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics states:
    “From the start of the recession in December 2007 through November
    2008, the total number of mass layoff events (seasonally adjusted) was
    20,712, and the number of initial claims (seasonally adjusted) was

    The national unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in November, season-
    ally adjusted, up from 6.5 percent the prior month and from 4.7 percent
    a year earlier. In November, total nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 533,000 over the month and by 1,870,000 from a year earlier.” (Source:

    The difference comes into play depending on which side you’re on. If you have to choose between firing or laying off someone, then you need to look into the legal ramifications. If you have, or expect, to experience this event in your life…then just take it as it comes. You can overcome either. Many employers are not able to give an official reason for separation, they may only complete an employee verification stating the length of employment (and possibly, position held).

    So don’t worry too much about it. Change what you can change and accept everything else!

    Good luck and many blessings for 2009!

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