Don't get mad, get severance! Who isn't upset when they hear the news that they're being laid off? Instead of getting angry and storming out, or going quietly into the good night, the best thing to do is keep your cool and negotiate. Many people are not aware that in some cases, you don't have to silently accept what they offer you -- you can negotiate for more.
So what exactly are you entitled to when you're laid off?
"If you don't have a contract or union, you're considered an 'at-will' employee," says Charlene Simons, a human resource specialist. "That means they can fire or let you go without cause [except for some federal and state exemptions such as race, gender, discrimination etc.]. Most don't even have to give you unused vacation pay, but they usually do." Either way it never hurts to ask.