How to Navigate Being Laid Off or Furloughed – What Are My Options?
With the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the globe, the effects continue to be felt in the U.S. job market. Even with the technology industry being relatively immune to economic downturns, you still might end up laid off or furloughed. The most important thing you need to do is keep a positive attitude and understand your specific situation, especially as it applies to unemployment compensation.
Here are some insights to help guide you through this difficult time. Remember, you aren’t alone when filing for unemployment. This is a temporary situation, and soon your tech career moves forward, leading you to professional success.
The Differences Between a Layoff and a Furlough
Understanding the differences between a furlough and a layoff is important before applying for unemployment compensation. Layoffs are used when companies are in a cash crunch and need to cut costs quickly. You may receive some form of severance to help with COBRA health insurance payments. Take advantage of any job search assistance benefit if you need to return to full-time work as soon as possible.
With a furlough, on the other hand, workers remain employed but are paid less. In many cases, a company simply cuts the number of hours worked each week for hourly employees and asks salaried staff to take less pay. Once again, companies do this to save money during an economic downturn. The main advantage for furloughed workers is they are typically able to keep their benefits.
Layoff vs. Furlough: Applying for Unemployment
Of course, applying for unemployment is a valid option if you are laid off. While it only pays a fraction of your salary, the extra CARES Act benefit due to the pandemic adds to this amount. As there are significant differences in the application process by state, research your own state’s process for specific information. Expect potential delays due to the massive amount of new unemployment applicants.
Furloughed employees are able to apply for unemployment in only a few states. Once again, some research into your state’s unemployment laws is necessary. Depending on the tech job market in your area, looking for a new opportunity might be your best option. Obviously, your own financial situation is likely the main consideration when deciding whether to stay or go.
If you need advice on how to best handle your current employment situation in these difficult times, speak with the knowledgeable recruiters at Digital Prospectors. As one of the top IT staffing agencies in Boston, we know companies that are currently looking for talented tech professionals. Connect with us soon!