I work in the bay area as a software developer and my company is laying off people:

  1. If I am laid off how much time is given to consider the severance package? My friend said that it will be an hour or so. That is barely enough time to consider the severance package?
  2. Is the severance package negotiable? Should I try to negotiate or will they withdraw the whole package?
  3. I was looking out for a new job even before the layoffs were announced. But some of the recruiters who know about the layoffs in my company are asking have I been laid off or feel like I am going to be. I personally don't think so because my last performance review was good and got a decent hike in salary without asking for it. If I am laid off or told that I will be laid off should I admit to hiring companies that I know I will be laid off?
  4. Layoffs legally means that the business is laying you off for financial/business reasons and not your individual performance.But many people believe that only bad performers are laid off. Do hiring companies see it the same way and will this affect my chances and next pay package?

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  • do you actually mean a "layoff" or redundancy? – Pepone Jan 24 '15 at 17:35
  • 1
    with #3 time it right and you can get a pay off and a new job – Pepone Jan 26 '15 at 0:14
  • No one gets to consider the severance package. You get what they offer or you get nothing. I fail to see how a layoff would do any long-term damage to your career in a field as hot as software development, but admittedly, the Bay area is bizarre in its hiring practices. – HLGEM Jan 26 '15 at 22:03
  • #2 -- Generally speaking, in order to negotiate you have to be holding some cards. If you're getting laid off, they have no reason to negotiate anything with you unless they're afraid of a lawsuit. The time to negotiate a severance package is when you get hired (though I wouldn't advise it--negotiate your salary instead and use it to save up a safety net). – Past9 Mar 11 '15 at 23:13
  1. Answer is company specific. Consult your employee manual and ask your company not us.

  2. Severance packages are company specific and are usually allocated according to specific parameters as described in the employees manual, such as length of service, current earnings, current position, etc. Compliance with the employees manual is part of your employment contract. Having said that, what do you think is your negotiating leverage, that you're going to quit empty handed if you don't get the severance package you want? What is it that you can give as a bargaining chip that they want from you? Or are you planning to conduct a successful negotiation session without either leverage or bargaining chips?

  3. "I personally don't think so [that I will be laid off] because my last performance review was good and got a decent hike in salary without asking for it". You have much to learn about how the world works. For one thing, they can't pay you with money they don't have. Layoffs are not about rewards and punishments. Layoffs are not a morality play. They are about the survival of the business and who is necessary to the survival of the business - that's not necessarily you.

  4. "But many people believe that only bad performers are laid off" You must be one of those because you believe you won't get laid off because your performance is good. News flash: companies have staff because their staff performs. Which means that when business conditions turn unfavorable, there is plenty of good performing staff that's available to be laid off. Those people who believe that only bad performers are laid off - well, these people are clueless because they have never, ever been laid off themselves. Given how devastating the Great Recession was, these people must be as rare as unicorns.

  • Actually even in the USA there are laws which must be followed for layoff/redundancy situations - but that is really asking a legal Q – Pepone Jan 26 '15 at 0:13
  • @Pepone Not sure what you mean - All 50 states, except for Montana, are employment-at-will states. These means that employers can get rid of you for any reason or no reason, except for a few exceptions such as intent to discriminate on race or ethnicity - But all but the most dim witted employers can get around these exceptions i.e. don't state a reason why you are getting rid of someone. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jan 26 '15 at 2:38
  • look up WARN acts which cover mass layoffs – Pepone Jan 26 '15 at 23:45

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