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Questions to ask if your employment is terminated

It doesn't matter if you saw your termination coming or were caught off guard, losing your job is a big deal on many fronts. Not only can it affect your career development, but it will also impact your finances until you're able to secure a new position.

Rather than accept your termination and simply walk away, it's critical to answer these key questions:

  • What is the reason for your termination? Ask your employer why you lost your job. If you don't like the answer, dig deeper to better understand the underlying reason.
  • Do you qualify for severance pay? Review your employment contract and employee handbook for more information on severance. For example, if it's promised in your contract, be sure to receive everything that's owed to you.
  • What happens to any unpaid commissions and bonuses? You don't want to miss out on money you've rightfully earned, so verify how and when these payments will be made.
  • What happens to your benefits? Maybe you receive health insurance through your employer. In this case, you need to look into your options, such as applying for COBRA or shopping for independent insurance.

Just because your employment is terminated doesn't necessarily mean that your employer violated the terms and conditions of your contract or broke the law. However, if you have reason to believe that they did, it's critical to learn more about your legal rights.

For example, if you lost your job as a result of age or gender discrimination, you may be able to take steps to hold the company responsible for violating the law.

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