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insurance benefits/lay off or not

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?new jersey. On May 25, 2005 i was told that I was part of a layoff. The separation letter said that it was a business reduction. About 12 other people were also given notice at this time. We were from all different positions. I was in outside sales. I accepted a one month severence which extended my health insurance until the end of June. :)
My problem starts with the letter I received along with the COBRA benefit information. It states that if I left on sick leave or lay off I would be responsible for paying the amount we usually contribute approx. $90.00
bi-weekly for 3 months. After that a regular family payment of Cobra would be approx $1200/mo. The issue here is the company said that i was not laid off and that I was not entitled to the initial 3 months reduction of insurance benefits as stated in their letter. When I asked them to define the difference they said a person who is laid off is coming back. I think they are pulling my leg! :confused:


I'm a Northern Girl
No, they are not pulling your leg. They are, in fact one of the very few companies who are still using the term correctly.

The correct usage of the term, layoff, is one in which there is currently no work for the employee for whatever reason, but the company has every reasonable expectation that they will be calling the employee back to work. If there is no reasonable expectation of the employee being returned to work, it is not, technically, a layoff.

In the vernacular, but incorrect, usage, a layoff has come to be the term used for any reduction in force which the employee is being fired through no fault of their own. Probably because the term "fired" has, in the minds of many employees, such a negative connotation, the gentler but incorrect "layoff" has been substituted.

Personally, I prefer to use the terms voluntary and involuntary termination. A voluntary termination is one in which you quit. An involuntary termination covers any other, be it a layoff, firing, medical leave of absence in which the employee is unable to return to work, reduction in force, etc. It doesn't have the negative force of "fired" but it doesn't confuse the issue like "layoff" does, either.

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