Sunday, November 27, 2022

Layoff Guru

Layoff Guru

As the Holiday Season fast approaches, the number of tech layoffs in Silicon Valley has spiked, disproportionately affecting smaller startups without monopolistic business silos to shelter all of their employees. To be fair, though, there have been large cuts at the likes of Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and (loomingly) Google too. Many employees with H-1B visas have both employment and continued residency concerns. This situation looks dire. Now what?

Tech has followed a classic boom/bust cycle for multiple generations now, ever since the introduction of the seminal Silicon Valley invention; the microprocessor. If one thing has been constant, it is that during every boom there is hedonistic excess, and after every bust (like wildfire) new startups (sprouts) emerge from the charred landscape.

Being let go from a job is one of life's most stressful experiences and something you should not have to deal with alone. Below are the "Big 3" questions I typically get asked by clients recently laid off:

California Severance Pay

There is no legal requirement under California Law that employers provide severance pay to an employee upon termination of employment. Employees should refer to their employer's policy with respect to severance pay. As such, most employees DO NOT have a legal right to receive severance pay. Many companies, however, DO offer severance pay to help reduce the their legal lability. Make sure you have a copy of your employee policy and consider requesting time to review any severance agreement prior to signing it.


If you have been laid off you have a lot on your mind right now, and health care is surely near the top of the list. You have options for continuing health coverage. You may have heard about the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), it is intended to give families an insurance safety net after a job loss. It is available if you have already enrolled in an employer-sponsored medical, dental, or vision plan, and your company has 20 or more employees. You can learn more about COBRA here.

Legacy Benefits

Many of your legacy employment benefits can continue or be rolled over or kept in place. Make sure you have received a copy of your employee policy and benefits package. It will detail what your options are for life insurance, 401K, and restricted stock or options vesting.

For many employees in Silicon Valley, the proverbial "elephant in the room" is their H-1B status after a layoff. Typically there is a 60-day grace period, meaning you will have a maximum of 60 days to arrange for another employer to submit an H-1B petition for you, change to another status, or depart the United States. A more detailed explanation can be found here

For a complimentary consultation and review of your specific situation please fill in the appointment form linked and I can contact you within one business day. I have been working with laid off employees for decades now, through multiple boom/bust cycles, and understand the stress it brings, but having a game plan in place can make the transition to a new, better path forward a a lot easier.
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