Samina Azad

How to Play the Lay-off Poker

Discussion created by Samina Azad on Nov 21, 2011

What is the best way to handle a lay-off? The November 21, 2011 Issue of Forbes Magazine has an interesting article on how to play the lay-off poker. Here is what it says we should do in the event of a lay-off:

  1. Find a Lawyer: Have an attorney look over the employer’s contract that you need to sign in order to get the severance package. Lawyers can be expensive so communicate with the employer yourself and keep the lawyer behind the scene.
  2. Negotiate the Contract: Are there any potential legal claims for discrimination regarding race, gender, religion, age, or disability? Discuss the potential claims with the employer and try to negotiate the contract. Try to avoid a lawsuit as it may negatively affect your mental health and the possibilities of future employment.
  3. Ask for More: Ask for a higher amount in severance pay, and an extension for 401 (k) and health insurance.
  4. Get Help in Searching for the Next Job: The employer should pay for career counselors who can help with your job search. Also, ask for positive recommendations when prospective future employers call.
  5. Minimize the Restrictions: Specifically, the Non-compete agreements that chemists/scientists are often asked to sign may prevent them from working elsewhere or starting their own business. Negotiate and minimize the number of Non-compete companies that are off-limit. Also, negotiate and shorten the duration and the geographic boundary for the restrictions.


In short, it always pays to negotiate. If the employer is not listening to your terms, it may not be worth signing any contracts with them.


Your comments are welcome.