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My company is downsizing, how do I get a severance package?

Downsizing looks different for different companies and packages may vary from employee to employee. In larger companies, downsizing and layoffs may automatically come with “hand raiser” packages. This means that the company may ask for volunteers to give up their positions in exchange for a severance package. Other companies may hand select employees for layoffs, but this layoff doesn’t always come with a severance package. Severance packages may differ from employee to employee based upon the level of employee, years of service, or whether the employee falls within a protected category. When faced with a layoff, the employee should ask the following questions: (a) is this truly a company wide layoff; (b) is there any pattern that I see in the employees affected by the layoff; and (c) is the package that I am being offered fair.

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