Job lock

Job lock occurs when a person feels unable to leave a job which is strongly disliked or unsuitable to their abilities because doing so will result in the loss of employee benefits (usually health or retirement related). It is more common in the United States where most people have health insurance through their employer.

An example of job lock due to health benefits would be someone who takes a job, planning to save up money to and move on later, but before this can happen they develop an expensive medical condition. In these circumstances the person is locked to their job as leaving would require being unemployed and hence without health coverage which can no longer be afforded.

An example of a job lock due to a defined benefit plan would be someone who has been working for a company for 20 years, thus accruing higher insurance benefits. If they leave to work for another company their benefits are reset and they eventually realize a lower level of retirement benefits. For more on the specifics of defined benefits plans, see http://retireplan.about.com/cs/retirement/a/aa_defined_a5.htm

It is true that health insurance can be purchased as a private individual, however, not only is it more expensive to purchase in that form, once a person member is known to require expensive coverage insurers will either refuse to cover or set very high premiums and impose many limitation clauses (loop holes) in the contract.

In a looser sense, Job lock may describe a condition where an employee is being paid higher than scale or has accumulated significant benefits, so changing jobs is not a realistic option as it would result in significantly lower pay, less vacation time, etc.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • job lock — ˈjob lock noun [uncountable] HUMAN RESOURCES a situation in which someone feels that they cannot leave their job, especially because they would lose their health insurance * * * job lock UK US noun [U] US HR ► a situation in which people stay in… …   Financial and business terms

  • job-lock — «JOB LOK», noun. commitment to a job in order to keep the health insurance and other benefits that go with it: »One spreading phenomenon is known as “job lock”…those with chronic diseases are most vulnerable (New York Times). –job´ locked´,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • job lock — n. The fear of leaving a job because it might mean losing or reducing health care benefits. Example Citations: There s no shortage of sad stories about health insurance. But for pure frustration, nothing beats job lock: being frozen in a job you… …   New words

  • job lock —  Situation of employees who want to leave their current positions but feel they cannot because they would lose their health benefits. In the United States, health benefits are provided primarily by employers, but most benefit programs do not… …   American business jargon

  • job lock — Gen Mgt the inability to leave a job because of a fear of losing the benefits associated with it (slang) …   The ultimate business dictionary

  • job´-locked´ — job lock «JOB LOK», noun. commitment to a job in order to keep the health insurance and other benefits that go with it: »One spreading phenomenon is known as “job lock”…those with chronic diseases are most vulnerable (New York Times). –job´… …   Useful english dictionary

  • lock keeper — UK US noun [countable] [singular lock keeper plural lock keepers] someone whose job is to operate a lock on a river or canal Thesaurus: people who guard or look after places or people …   Useful english dictionary

  • lock-keeper — lock keepers N COUNT A lock keeper is a person whose job is to be in charge of and maintain a lock or group of locks on a canal …   English dictionary

  • Lock Martin — (February 22, 1916 January 19, 1959) was the stage name of American actor Joseph Lockard Martin Jr. He was from Pennsylvania and had a series of odd jobs before going into acting. He was reportedly 7 foot 7 inches (about 231 cm) tall. If true,… …   Wikipedia

  • lock keeper — lock .keeper n someone whose job is to open and close the gates of a ↑lock on a ↑canal …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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