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10/31/2004: Layoffs Can Have an Aftershock: Exit Pay and Outplacement Help Aren't Mandatory (The Washington Post; subscription may be required)
Excerpt: Just about everyone out there knows someone -- or at least knows someone who knows someone -- who was laid off, downsized or fired or whose company disappeared during the last few years. And it seems that most of us assume that those friends or friends of friends (or ourselves) received a little padding on the way out, whether in the form of severance pay or even just outplacement help. But here's what may come as a surprise to many people: Severance pay is not a legal requirement.
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