I was "temporarily" laid off from my parttime job in MA, as our revenues are way down. (I know, all layoffs are really supposed to be "temporary" as implied, but the other three people "laid off" were really let go permanently, and so I don't see how it's not a firing.)
I have worked at this company for 5.5 years, fulltime until July 2007, after the birth of my daughter. I was on maternity leave for about 8-9 weeks, then returned as a parttime employee in Sept 2007.
I was assured that the lay off was temporary and I would be reinstated when revenues were up, likely during our busy season (typically summer; it is a veterinary hospital). I wasn't thrilled with the less-than-one-week's notice they gave me, but I don't think that is illegal (just rude, since I have worked there for years, have been their go-to person even when I was pregnant, and they made the decision weeks before informing employees, but...)
Am I entitled to unemployment benefits until I restart work? No termination paperwork or paperwork of any kind was presented to me by my employer, and when I called for information as to what would happen to my 401k, my manager assured me that I was still "part of the company," that they had not officially removed me from payroll, and that she had not filed termination paperwork of any kind regarding me.
I will be earning some money from this company at the end of this month (for about 24-40 hours total) helping to train workers at another hospital (it is a corporate chain) to use our computer systems; I otherwise have no definite return date, and have not worked for this company since early Jan. 2009. I am currently pregnant again, but that was not known to my employer before I was informed of the layoff (or even now), so that is not an issue.
(incidentally, I have another post regarding a potential layoff due to my pregnancy at my other job-not related to this post.)