Difference Between Being Fired and Laid Off

By: | Updated: Sep-13, 2022
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Most people think that they will be fired from their job, but many people don’t know that they can also be laid off. There are two different words for being fired:

But what exactly are the differences between being fired and being laid off? And what are the consequences of being fired versus being laid off? Read on to find out.

Summary Table

Being Fired Laid Off
Being fired means that the employer has decided that the employee’s services are no longer needed A layoff is an employer’s decision to let go of a specific number of employees from a particular work unit.
Considered harsher Less harsh
You will not be entitled to unemployment benefits You will be entitled to unemployment benefits

Difference Between Being Fired and Laid Off

What is Being Fired?

A dismissal (or being fired) occurs when a worker is terminated without just cause. This can occur if the worker is not performing well or if the company feels that the worker is not fit to continue working. An example of this would be when a doctor gets fired because he or she is lazy and incompetent.

What is Laid Off?

A layoff occurs when a company makes a decision to let some workers go, which means that they have been dismissed from their jobs and will no longer work for them anymore. If a company does this to employees, it usually does so for financial reasons or because it wants to cut costs and/or reduce its workforce in order to become more profitable. Sometimes, layoffs are caused by an unexpected downturn in the economy, such as when a company has to lay off workers because the economy is slowing down.

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The Similarities Between Being Fired and Being Laid Off

Both can mean “to dismiss”

One of the most important things to remember about being fired and being laid off is that they both mean “to dismiss”. The difference between the two is that when a worker is fired, he or she is dismissed from his or her job, but when a worker is laid off, he or she is not dismissed from his or her job.

Both will result in financial losses

Another similarity between being fired and being laid off is that both will result in financial losses. This is because when a worker gets fired or laid off, he or she loses his or her job and thus has to find a new job.

Being Fired VS Laid Off

Now let’s take a look at the differences between being fired and being laid off.

Thrown Out

The best way to describe being fired is being thrown out. The term “thrown out” refers to the manner in which an employee is let go from a job. Being fired means that the employer has decided that the employee’s services are no longer needed, and has thus ended the employment relationship.

A layoff is an employer’s decision to let go of a specific number of employees from a particular work unit. A layoff may also be referred to as “mass layoff” or “mass termination.” A layoff can be voluntary or involuntary. Involuntary layoff means that the employee has been fired.

Company Policies

Both being fired and being laid off are due to company policies, but being fired is considered a harsher action than being laid off. Being fired means that the employee has violated company policies, whereas being laid off is a company decision based on the company’s needs.

Unemployment Benefits

When you are being fired, you will not be entitled to unemployment benefits. When you are laid off, you will be entitled to unemployment benefits.

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