Laid Off vs. Getting Fired: What is the difference?

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Difference between Laid Off and Getting Fired

When it comes to survival in the 21st century, one has to have a decent job that pays the bills and then some. People often dedicate their lives to their careers and often working very hard to achieve a specific level of success or even just work to keep earning an income until retirement finally arrives. However, not everything is perfect in life and for some this means losing their job due to some very unfortunate circumstances. There are many ways one can lose their job, quitting is usually the most common, a few are fired for a specific reason and today people are being laid off all over America.

Laid Off
Getting Fired

Vital Detailed Information

Being laid off means that the company can no longer afford to pay your wages and seems to be downsizing their workforce due to a recession, low sales, low budget, too much competition, redundancy, etc. Therefore, regardless of your position, your job could be on the line. On the other hand, being fired means that you've done something wrong or something that was not in the company's best interest and therefore the company has no choice but to terminate your job. There is room here for politically unsavory justifications for firing employees but we won’t go down that path here.

How Does it Affect Your Work History

Being laid off, fortunately, does not affect your work history in any way and you can easily apply for a new job and chances are you'll get it. However, when you're fired from a job, you're more likely to be rejected before getting a new job since getting fired can be a negative point in your work history. Employers are most likely to judge you by your work history. However, many small companies don't really rely on work history and tend to have a probational period of employment wherein they reserve the right to terminate your employment at will before the end of a number of months. Thus if you're fortunate enough to get hired by one of these companies, consider yourself lucky.

Unemployment Benefits

If you're laid off you're more likely to get unemployment benefits from the company, especially if you're in a union or have some type of work insurance. Some companies will pay you 60% of your wages after being laid off. On the other hand, if you are fired from the job, than you get nothing from the company. It's important to keep in mind that if you're being laid off don't take it too hard. However, if you end up getting fired, you may have some hard times ahead. In any case, there are unemployment benefit fund available from state governments for those who are either laid off or fired. Monthly checks are higher for those who are laid as compared to those who are fired. A person who quits a job is not eligible for such funds.


  • Having a job is vital for one's survival, it's essential to have a good secure job, that pays the bills, and pays you well enough so that you can save up money at the end of the week.
  • Being laid off means that, the company has to terminate your job, due to financial constraints, and or downsizing
  • However, being fired means, that you screwed up big time, and the company has decided to terminate your job.
  • Being laid off, does not affect your work history at all, and one can easily get another job.  However, being fire puts a negative mark on your work history, and future employers will be hesitant to hire you.
  • Being laid off or fired may come with limited unemployment benefits, however, being fired can hinder your chances of getting a new job.

Which is worse?
  • Laid Off
  • Getting Fired

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