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Fermilab Layoffs

Layoffs Homepage | Director's Corner | Questions & Answers | Latest Q&A

Latest Questions & Answers
Posted on May 2, 2008

Layoff Question?
Many employees will have questions about their individual situations in the event they receive layoff notices. At this stage, Fermilab's Human Resources staff lacks the resources to deal with hypothetical individual cases. (Employees who do receive layoff notices will have individual meetings with human resources and benefits specialists to discuss their specific situations.)
Click here to submit a layoff question

Q: If I'm on furlough and I am laid off, do you call me at home or wait until I return to work?

A: If someone is not at work and is to be laid off,  that person will be notified as soon as possible after he/she returns to work, although it is possible that we may have to contact the person by phone or mail.

Q: Will departments be letting their people know how many are being let go from the group ahead of the individual notifications?

A: No, departments will not be notifying the work group in advance of the individual notifications.

Q: If my furlough is scheduled right after I get the notification for the lay off, is that furlough period considered as an administrative leave? Will I get paid for that week?

A: If you were laid off, you would not be furloughed after notification, even if it had previously been scheduled.

Q: Is severance pay based on our normal base pay, or on a furlough-reduced base pay?

A: The furlough did not change anyone's base pay rate. Severance pay for eligible employees will be based on the employee's full base pay rate. For H1B visa holders, severance will be based on full-time salary.

Q: Some companies pay for sick and vacation time. Will Fermilab employees that are laid off receive payment for unused sick time?

A: Laid off employees will be paid for any unused vacation time but not for unused sick time. Per Fermilab Personnel Policies/Time Off: Sick Leave: Sick days are carried over from one calendar year to the next until the maximum accrual of 130 days is reached. Employees are not paid for unused sick days either at the end of the calendar year or upon termination. This policy stems from the FRA-DOE contract which states: “Sick leave. Accumulated sick leave is not payable upon termination and may not be used beyond a predetermined date of termination.”

Q: Will the continuation of health care for laid-off employees via COBRA (and at the "active" cost for the first year) be with the same provider (e.g. HMO Illinois) as before layoff?  Also, I thought COBRA was limited to 1.5 years; the information provided in your answer to the earlier COBRA FAQ implies a longer period.  Is that correct?

A: COBRA coverage can be for whichever plan you participated in before the layoff. Yes, it is correct that the time period is extended because of the layoff event.

Q: In the beginning the article in the paper said the reduction in workforce would come from full-time employees. I am a Phase Out employee. Does this mean I may be laid off also?

A: Phased retirement participants are eligible to be laid off.

Q: What will happen on the day of layoffs?

A: Information on the layoff procedures is here.

Q: Will my computer accounts be disabled?

A: Yes, they will be disabled a short time after you have been notified that you are laid off.

Q: Will I still be able to read my email?

A: Yes. For 60 days after your termination date, you will be able to read email by using the Web interface to the lab's IMAPserver. Your account will be configured so that you will be unable to send email; you will only be able to read, delete and move messages between folders. After 60 days the account will be disabled and you will no longer be able to gain access.

Q: Will I be able to forward my email?

A: Yes. A form will be included in the benefits package that can be used to indicate where you would like your email forwarded. You are allowed to forward your email to the lab's IMAPserver for up to 60 days. After 60 days you must have your email forwarded to an offsite address, such as or Offsite forwarding addresses will be left in place indefinitely unless there are problems with delivery.

Q: Will I be allowed to request retrieval of computer files?

A: Yes. A form will be included in the benefits package that can be used to request file retrieval, subject to approval by line management. This includes email, files on local disks, files on central file servers and files that were part of a project. Details are included on the form.

last modified 05/02/2008   email Fermilab at Work
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