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Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets wrote:
> Mmm... At least in France, _mettre à pieds_ is a temporary measure only,
> usually as a punishment for a mistake. In any case, it's not a good
> translation of "to lay off", which only refers to losing your job
> permanently, AFAIK.

At least in the United States, "to fire" means to unemploy
someone due to actions of the employee, while "to lay off"
means to unemploy someone due to actions beyond the
employee's control, usually due to the economy. If conditions
improve and the company needs more workers, those who
were laid off are usually contacted and asked to return to
work. A short-term loss of work as a punishment is usually
referred to as a "suspension."

--Ph. D.