Skip To Main Content |

Job Loss Resources for Employersfor Employees

Job Loss Icon - Moving on from a Layoff

Welcome to the Job Loss Resources Page. We understand that job loss is one of the most challenging times in people's lives. DWD and the public workforce system are here to help you with your next steps.

Employee Resources Employer Resources

We understand that job loss is one of the most challenging times in people's lives. DWD and the public workforce system are here to help. Moving on from a layoff is easier if you have the right information and tools.

Explore this page to learn more about important topics.

Rapid Response Overview

The Rapid Response Program helps employees who are faced with job loss because of a business closure or workforce reduction. The program helps you navigate job loss by connecting you to helpful information and activities, ideally before your layoff occurs.

Coping with Job Loss

Job loss can have an impact on your mental and physical health. It is important to take care of yourself and know that you will get through this challenging time.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance (UI) serves as a lifeline for many who are faced with job loss. These payments can help you and your family pay your bills while you are looking for work or training for a new job.

Dislocated Worker Program

Enroll in the Dislocated Worker Program to help you prepare for and land your next job, maybe even explore a whole new career! A dedicated team is here to assist and support you - you are not alone on this journey.

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program helps employees who lose their jobs due to foreign competition, including work being moved outside of the United States. Learn more about the requirements of this program to see if it might apply to your situation.

Job Center Services

Did you know that staff at your local job center can connect you to a wide range of resources to help you land your next job? In addition to that, (JCW) is the state's website for searching for jobs, posting your resume, and accessing several helpful widgets through My JCW widgets like a budget planner tool, an action steps tool, a career exploration tool, a self-sufficiency calculator, and a community resources locator tool.

Job Search Tips

Searching for a new job can be overwhelming. These helpful tips and staff at your local job center can help make the process easier.

Community Resources

Need help finding community resources in your area? Log in to My JCW and use the community resources locator tool to find organizations that can help you with a broad range of things - from food, clothing, and shelter to tax or legal assistance, to help with transportation. This tool has over 15 categories to choose from.

Health Insurance Information

You may have health insurance through your employer and you're wondering what options you have when you lose your job.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration provides information on the rights, protections, and options you have related to health insurance.

Wisconsin state law also provides certain protections when it comes to continuing the health insurance you have through your employer after job loss.

Covering Wisconsin is a non-profit organization based out of the University of Wisconsin system. Covering Wisconsin has a team of trained Navigators who can help you understand health insurance options for you and your family members as well as provide enrollment assistance. Covering Wisconsin does not provide health insurance.

Retirement Information

You may be at a point in your life and career where you're thinking about retiring. For some, job loss may speed up that timeline. Check out the links for more information, so you can make informed decisions.

Financial Planning

When you lose your job, you'll want to review your household's financial situation and make some important decisions. Creating a household budget is a good first step. Map out your household's current expenses and where costs can be reduced or cut out. The sooner you do this, the better. Working together with your household members - even your children - can be beneficial as you work through this process. Check out the links for some helpful information and resources.

Take Dislocated Worker Survey

If you've been given a code to take the voluntary Dislocated Worker Survey, please click the button below and follow the prompts.

We understand that job loss is one of the most challenging times in people's lives. DWD and the public workforce system are here to help.

Connect with the Rapid Response program and discover all the ways we can help your business and employees with this transition.

Rapid Response Overview

The Rapid Response Program will be a resource to you and your impacted employees as everyone prepares for the upcoming layoffs. It's not easy for anyone, but we are here to help make it easier.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are there any notice requirements that my company must follow?
    • Businesses laying off workers employed in Wisconsin should be aware that federal and/or state law may require that written notice be provided at least 60 days in advance of the layoffs. Employers must comply with both laws if they both apply.
  • What kind of information will my business be asked to share with the Rapid Response Program?
    • You'll be asked to share information that will help your Rapid Response team best assist your company and impacted workforce. You'll be asked to share information such as:
      • The anticipated layoff schedule.
      • The types of jobs impacted and a high-level overview of the impacted workforce's demographics, including average tenure, education levels, and language preferences.
      • The reason for the layoffs, as this information is used to determine if the impacted employees could be eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program.
      • A list of the impacted employees that includes their names, contact information, occupation titles, and planned separation dates.
  • What are some things your business can do to assist impacted employees?
    • Provide each impacted employee with written notice of layoff, including separation date, on company letterhead.
    • Provide space and other resources for on-site activities provided through the Rapid Response Program.
    • Allow employees to attend Rapid Response sponsored activities, preferably on paid work time.
    • Provide employees with a copy of their job descriptions and the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform their work. Also, provide each employee information about any training they've completed that resulted in new or upgraded skills, as well as awards, promotions or other forms of recognition earned. These things help impacted employees craft quality resumes.
    • Remind employees about resources available through the company's Employee Assistance Program (EAP), if one exists.
    • Extend employees' access to EAP services for a period of time following their layoffs.
    • Talk with area employers who may be interested in the skill sets of your impacted workforce and help coordinate efforts to connect your employees to other job opportunities. Your Rapid Response team may be able to assist with these efforts.
    • Explain to the employees the company's policy on employee references, including the type of reference the company will provide to other employers and how references will be handled if the business is closing.
    • Lend human resources staff to activities like resume workshops, one-on-one assistance with resume preparation, interviewing workshops and mock interviews. This can be done in partnership with the Rapid Response Program.
Connect to the Rapid Response Program

Contact us today and we will connect you to your local Rapid Response team.


Phone: (608) 405-4070

Health Insurance Considerations

Most employer-sponsored group health plans must comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) which is Federal law that sets standards to protect certain employee benefits. One protection contained in ERISA is the right to COBRA continuation coverage - i.e., temporary continuation of group health coverage following a qualifying event such as termination of employment. More detailed information about COBRA and compliance requirements may be found on the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) website.

Employer-sponsored group health plans may also have to comply with Wisconsin's continuation law (Wisconsin Statutes section 632.897. The law applies to group policies issued to employers of any size; it does not apply to employer self-funded health plans or policies that limit coverage to specified diseases or accidental injuries. Questions about this law and compliance requirements may be directed to the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) via phone (608) 266-3585 / (800) 236-8517 or email

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) offers certain protections to people who lose their health insurance. Under HIPAA, the health plan must provide an individual who loses coverage with a certificate of creditable coverage. This must be provided free of charge. More information may be found on DOL's website.

Environmental Considerations

When a company location closes, there may be real or perceived environmental contamination that hinders efforts to clean up and redevelop the property. Through the Wisconsin Plant Recovery Initiative (WPRI), the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) helps employers and communities expedite the cleanup and revitalization of industrial and commercial facilities that will be closing or have recently closed. When the DNR learns that an industrial or commercial facility will be closing, its staff may reach out to the closing business and impacted community to offer assistance. The closing business and impacted community are also encouraged to contact the DNR for assistance in addressing environmental concerns and for help returning the property to productive use.

American Job Center Banner