talk to HR laid off


Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Laid Off Due to Coronavirus? What to Ask Human Resources

Get help from human resources
talk to HR laid off


Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Layoffs are life-altering, and they are happening at a staggering rate across America during the coronavirus pandemic. To make sure you have everything in order before beginning the search for new employment, be sure to ask human resources these five key questions.

Companies and Industries That Are Hiring During the Coronavirus Pandemic

‘Is there a severance package?’

First, ask about severance pay. While there is no requirement for severance pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you and your employer may have agreed for payment upon termination of employment when you were hired.

‘When will I receive my final check?’

This final check can help temporarily alleviate anxiety on how you will handle unexpected unemployment

‘When will my healthcare benefits give out?’ 

Healthcare coverage is more important now than ever. As part of a severance package, some employers may offer a care continuation through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Use’s screener to check if you are eligible to enroll in other health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act, your state’s healthcare market or other federal programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. 

‘Can I have a copy of my previous performance reviews?’

Recent layoffs may have little to do with job performance, and keeping a record of past performance reviews could serve you well. These documents can help you adjust your own workflow to boost productivity and beef up your resume too.

‘Can I have a letter of recommendation?’

Ask HR for a letter of recommendation or “laid off” letter explaining any extraneous reasons — like a global health pandemic — that you have been let go. Like the performance reviews, these letters may be beneficial during future interviewing processes. 


Now, take a deep breath before following the other steps to take after being laid off.