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Intel Offering Health Benefits to Laid Off Workers

Intel is cutting 11% of its workforce but giving many U.S. workers severance and health benefits beyond what the typical laid off employee receives.

Workers at the computer chip maker in Oregon who were notified they would be laid off last month, for example, will stay on the payroll until May 31. Then they will each get a minimum of six weeks of pay plus three months of health insurance, Intel (INTC) said in a notice filed with the state covering mass layoffs. The departing employees will also get additional severance pay based on years of service, additional health insurance coverage, and six months of career transition service if they agree to a “standard release agreement.”

Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., has major U.S. manufacturing operations in Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, and Massachusetts. The company plans to cut 12,000 workers by mid-2017, as it consolidates operations to cut costs amidst a lengthy slump in PC sales, Intel (INTC) said on April 19. Intel’s share price has lost almost 5% since the announcement.

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Laid off U.S. employees who sign the release will get a choice of six months of health insurance premiums plus $9,000 or one full year of premiums, the Oregonian newspaper reported. Pay for years of service will range from 4 weeks pay for 2 years or less up to 48 weeks of pay for departing employees with 30 years or more years of service.

A spokesman for Intel confirmed the accuracy of the Oregon filing but declined to comment further.

Employers are required to let laid off employees continue to use their health insurance coverage for 18 months or more under a federal law known as COBRA. But most former employees have to pay the associated monthly premiums on their own. Only 13% of employers have a standard policy to fully reimburse COBRA premiums, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.