Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about laid off:

What rights as an employee do you have after 12 years of service? I was laid off, and feel it was due to office politics and untrue rumors from three employees who not only had less seniority, but kept their jobs as well.

Signed, Laid Off

Dear Laid Off:

Twelve years and laid off? Due to company politics? From here it does not seem right that you would be the one laid off if others with less seniority are still employed. However, might they still be employed because they have skills and working at jobs that are more needed than you have? Unless you have a union contract with clear job descriptions and policy regarding seniority, you probably have no rights. The only other rights that you might have hinge on the number of employees where you work and whether your employer might be guilty of some form of discrimination.

Now the question for you is: what will you do with this time off? Will you brood over it, complain over and over about company politics to family and friends, and be soured with resentment–seeing yourself as a victim? Or will you use this time to find handyman jobs and/or volunteer work? Might this be a time to develop skills that will make you more wanted at your place of employment or elsewhere? Have you thought about doing those things that you didn’t have time for these past 12 years? Getting in shape? Raising a garden? Giving your self away? Do you need or resent this advice? Feel free to reject or use it to prompt you to make the best of a bad situation. Thinking positively may not be natural for you, but it might be worth a try. Thinking WEGO for your employer may be furthest from your mind. Yet doing so is akin to praying for those who have done you wrong. And that’s good for them and you.

William Gorden