Types of termination and what to do next


Job loss can occur when you are least expecting it. There are multiple scenarios that may present themselves. See the types of separation scenarios below and tips on what to do to prepare yourself.

Thinking about leaving your job? Know the types of termination and how to recover and make a smooth transition. Prepare yourself and your family so that you know what to do and what not to do.

Two Types of Voluntary Termination:

Intentional Resignation

When an employee provides their resignation they are leaving on their own terms for another opportunity. There is the option to provide notice, however best practice is to give 2 weeks notice. When someone resigns the employer is not required to provide compensation.

  1. Check on your benefits and when they expire
  2. Check on the need to transfer your Retirement Accounts and/or your HSA
  3. Change your logins from the accounts above so you can access them after you leave.
  4. If you have stock from your previous company, be sure to check on your options.
  5. Review the original signed contract of employment to ensure that you are paid out accordingly on your vacation time.

Forced Resignation

Forced Resignation is where an employee resigns due to ultimatum: IE) resign or be fired. This most likely due to conduct or grounds for dismissal. Regardless of your decision, try to speak to legal council to understand your options prior to making a decision.

  1. You need to make a decision on what your next move will be as this one is tricky. If you resign, you may not have any benefits to unemployment, but your integrity and reputation will be intact. The benefit is that when future employers ask about why you left your last place of unemployment, you are able to indicate that it was your decision to leave.
  2. If you resign, be sure to ask these important questions:
    • When will I receive my last paycheck?
    • Will there be a separation package provided?
    • Will I receive cobra / health insurance benefits
    • Can I use my employer as a reference?
  3. If you decide to not resign and you are fired, then you may be entitled to unemployment compensation. Note that your scenario must meet unemployment standards in order to qualify. Definitely check your state's unemployment law prior to making your decision.

Two Types of Involuntary Termination

There are 2 types of involuntary termination, firing and laying off. This is where an employee is terminated against their will. In the US, companies and employees are legally considered, "at will."

This means that employers are not required to provide a reason for dismissal. This allows both employers and the employees the freedom to dismiss or leave without notice or reason.

Fired or Laid Off

Termination through Firing or Letting an Employee Go means that the employer terminated the employee based on poor performance, conduct, etc.

  1. In some cases you may want to write an appeal letter which asks your employer to reconsider their decision. An appeal letter states an employees case if they feel that they have been unfairly treated.
  2. Unfortunately, there is little you can do from a compensation perspective based on unemployment eligibility requirements. That said, get your cover letter and resume updated asap.
  3. In an interview it is best to say, "It wasn't a good fit," as that will be taken better than saying, "I was terminated"

Laying Off

When an employer Lays Off an employee it means that the employee's services are no longer needed. This would be against the will of the employee. Laying employees off can be due to a number of things:

  • Economic changes
  • Restructuring
  • Elimination of a position
  • Redundancy
  • Change in function and/ or disability

  1. In cases where employees are offered a separation package, they are usually based on years of service. Not all companies do this, nor are they required to. It is important to ask if this will be offered. Separation packages are also called Severance Packages. When a contract is signed, the employee is conceding to a release of all potential claims against their employer. This is in exchange for monetary compensation. It is best to have legal council review prior to signing to avoid any issues.
  2. When employees are not offered anything, the employee can file for unemployment. Check to see what your state's laws are here. Employees must meet unemployment eligibility requirements, click here for more info on how to file.
  3. Write down your account of your experience to ensure that there is a record for legal purposes.
  4. Before you leave be sure to know the date of your last paycheck.
  5. Find out if your company provide a reference and / or write you a letter of recommendation.

Wrongful Termination

If you believe you have been "Wrongfully Terminated," ie) company policy was violated in your firing; you should reach out to legal council. Wrongful Termination is, "illegal termination which could be related, but not limited to discrimination, workplace complaints, or whistle-blowing," per Findlaw.com.

Moving Forward After Job Loss

Regardless of the type of termination, RYH has resources for individuals post job loss to help recoup and get back into the swing of things. Whether looking to re-enter the job market or looking to make a career change, click here to see our FREE RESOURCES and help you reinvent YOUR hustle!


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