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HomePayroll and SalaryPink Slip: Definition, Term Origin, Employer and Employee

Pink Slip: Definition, Term Origin, Employer and Employee

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The origin of the term  ‘Pink Slip’ comes from the United States. Lately, the usage of this term has increased by leaps and bounds. People theorise about the companies that would issue pink slips and even trade their stories and personal experiences over a glass of pink champagne with the side of pink pasta.

Pink slip notifies an employee that they have got laid off or fired. Employees are removed from services and services are not any longer available as per note. It is an colloquial term for termination. It simply implies that the service is not required anymore as company has apparent reasons. 

Did you know? Pink slip termination can also be considered as an informal term for a termination letter.

What does a Pink Slip Mean?

A Pink Slip is a vernacular term defined as a notice that an employer gives his employee indicating that the employment has been terminated. It is an official notification that declares that the employee’s position has been eliminated from the workplace and his services are no longer required. This law intends to protect the workers and their families by mentally preparing them and giving them a head start to plan their job.

Why is it called so?

Even though no one seems to know why the termination notices began to be informally referred to as “Pink Slips”, the basic premise of this reasoning is that when the companies started laying off their employees, they gave these notices on a pink piece of paper. The colour was chosen so the notice could be promiscuous amongst the rest of the paperwork on the employee’s desk.

Few people have researched the actual origin of pink slips, and they traced it back to the Ford motor company. The workers of Ford’s assembly line had lockers where they kept their belongings, and at the end of the day, they would find slips from the management. A white slip meant that their day’s work was acceptable, whereas the pink one indicated that they weren’t required to return the next day and were terminated.

Also Read: Separate Ministry needed to focus on micro-units, says CIA

How does a Pink Slip work?

Pink Slips are generally not a welcome sight for employees. They are just a means to inform them that their position needs to be vacated and their services will no longer be required by the company.

On What Grounds Can You Get a Pink Slip?

There are innumerable reasons for an employer to issue a pink slip to his employee, but we have listed an inclusive list of the common reasons an employee can get a pink slip.

  1. Drug or alcohol possession: 

Being intoxicated at work is a severe ground for termination. Apart from affecting job performance, it is illegal.

  1. Falsifying the Documents:

 It is another unethical and illegal activity that can get a worker out of a job and into prison.

  1. Damaging Property: 

Wilful negligence on the part of the employee that results in any damage to the company property is a fireable offence.

  1. Insubordination: 

Even though employees are not required to agree and accept all the requests made by the managers, consistent refusal to obey orders, obstructionist and hostile behaviour or contentious communication can lead you to lose your job.

  1. Poor Performance: 

Employees who don’t respond to feedback, complain to management, and do not perform their duties well could lose their jobs.

  1. Applying Company’s Property for Personal Use:

Company’s property is strictly for business use, and employees’ use of it is unacceptable.

  1. Stealing: 

Stealing is unethical and raises questions about the employee’s integrity and honesty. It also includes petty theft.

  1. Violating Company’s Policy:

Employees need to follow company policies because they are nothing but rules and regulations. Violation of these policies could lead to unemployment.

  1. Misconduct: 

Unethical behaviour or misconduct is intolerable in a corporate environment. It covers a wide range of issues, from bullying to harassment.

  1. Excessive Leaves: 

No company appreciates employees who take too much time off work, and it can issue a pink slip if the pattern follows.

Also Read: What is the Average Salary in India?

What to do When you get a Pink Slip?

A pink slip should not necessarily mean the end of an employee’s career. He should start looking for new job opportunities. Here are the things that an employee must do when he receives a pink slip:

  1. Severance Packages: 

After receiving a pink slip, an employee must assess the reason for his layoff. Suppose it is due to any reason not being the employee’s fault. Certain companies even pay an entire year’s salary to the laid-off employee.

  1. Assess Finances: 

After being laid off, it is important to assess the finances to determine how long you can manage without new employment because, at this stage, you won’t get a regular inflow of money, and it is advisory to plan your finances accordingly.

  1. Cut down the Expenses: 

Expenses on unnecessary items should be cut down to judiciously manage your finances. Expenditure should only be done on the necessities and not luxuries at this phase of life.

  1. Deal with the Emotional Backlash: 

Being terminated from a job can harm your confidence and self-worth. At this period, it is important to keep a positive attitude and not let yourself get trapped in the emotional turmoil of self-blame. The focus should rather be on taking it as constructive criticism and improving yourself through feedback.

  1. Use the Layoff Period: 

This period should be prudently utilised to work on yourself and inculcate good and healthy habits. One should also look to enhancing his skill set and preparing himself for new job opportunities. Overall, you should have a positive mindset to make your comeback better than your setback.

Also Read: What is a Flexible Benefit Plan?

How to Deal with the After-Effects of the Pink Slip?

Getting terminated from a job can devastate an employee financially and psychologically. Apart from burning a hole in your pocket, it raises self-doubt and sometimes can plunge a person into depression. Here are some of the ways that can help you to deal with your lay-off:

  1. Take time: 

Most people get attached to their jobs in the long run, and getting laid off can be humiliating and disappointing. A person needs to take some time to grieve and wash off the embarrassment, doubt and sense of pride, purpose and loss so that they can bounce back.

  1. Prioritise Yourself: 

Getting terminated from your job can sometimes open up new perspectives. You must focus on yourself and dedicate some time to your mental well-being.

  1. Don’t Compare: 

The best of us can fall into toxic practices of comparing our progress with others at this phase. Job termination should be viewed as a temporary phase rather than a permanent calamity. Comparing can lead to self-hatred and should be avoided at all costs.

  1. New Job Opportunities: 

After the lay-off, you should not just sit back but look for new job opportunities. You must keep looking for vacancies and start applying by sending your resume matching your experience and knowledge.

  1. Learn New Skills: 

Learning is a never-ending process. After getting terminated, you should start learning and developing new skills that would add to your resume and help you in your next job.

  1. Focus on Positives: 

Losing a job can be very negative and draining. At this time, you should surround yourself with positive energies and motivate people. It is important to not lose hope and keep looking for new and better opportunities.


Pink slips are the official notices issued by the employer to terminate the employee. There are various reasons why a person can be laid off, which can be very demotivating to the employee and can erode his self-confidence and self-esteem if he is laid off without a fault of his own. The employee should understand that life always moves in the forward direction and, therefore, should never stop looking for new opportunities.

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