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Key questions to ask if your employment is terminated

If you receive a termination notice from your employer, it's important that you don't become upset. Stay calm, learn more about the reason for your termination and then implement a plan for protecting yourself.

A big part of this process is asking key questions of your supervisor, company owner and/or HR department. Here are a few to start with:

  • What is the reason for my termination? This can range from company downsizing to lack of performance. You want to know exactly why you're losing your job, as it'll help you decide what to do next.
  • Can I receive my personnel file? It's important to do this, as it gives you a better understanding of any underlying issues that may have led to your termination.
  • How much severance pay will I receive? It's not required by law, but your employer may offer it anyway. Just the same, you may have negotiated this into your employment contract.
  • When is my last day of work? Your employer is likely to give you at least two weeks notice, but you want to know for sure. This allows you to better plan everything from your finances to your job search.
  • What happens to my health insurance? You want to know how long it remains active, as well as your options for continuing it in the future.

If you have any reason to believe you're the victim of wrongful termination, collect evidence to support your claim. You can then learn more about your legal rights and how to protect them during this difficult time.

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