Terminated/Let go/Got fired vs. Laid Off

There are many different terms to use when saying that a person was terminated/fired (dismissed from their job).

When discussing a person being terminated/fired due to employee performance:



In a “work/office” environment. A company will use the phrase “terminated”. This is an H.R. (Human Resources) term that is used within the company.


In the “workplace” environment, in order to remain professional people may say, a person “was let go” or he/she “no longer works” there.



You will commonly hear people say someone “got fired”. This is a neutral phrase. It isn’t the most professional thing to say. However, it isn’t the worst thing to say.


You may also here the terms, a person “got sacked” or “got canned”. These phrases, are very negative.



Being “laid off” is NOT the same as being fired.

When a company has made changes and needs to reduce the number of employees, they downsize. Therefore, the employees are laid off.


When a person is laid off, it is due to changes in the company, not the person’s performance.

A person who is laid off will say, “I was laid off.”