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Layoff assistance for employees

The Employment Security Department (ESD) can help employees and employers facing major layoffs or temporary hard times.

The information included here is intended to assist employees and job seekers.  Information for employers can be found on our Layoff assistance for employers page

  • WorkSource - Although ESD is no longer the "unemployment office" for Washington state, the department does offer resources to assist unemployed workers.  As a proud partner in the WorkSource system, ESD delivers job-search services through partnership with WorkSource.

  • Standby - Workers who have a probable return-to-work date with a current employer within 4 weeks (28 days) can request standby approval for up to 4 weeks. When workers have not worked for their employer in over 8 weeks, we can approve standby for only new work. Standby for new work must be for full-time work and only up to 2 weeks.

  • Unemployment benefits - Unemployment benefits are made available through taxes paid by your former employer(s) to partially replace your regular earnings and help you meet expenses while you look for another job. These benefits are intended to assist workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are not based on financial need. While receiving benefits, it’s your responsibility to get back to work as quickly as you can.