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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27888
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I have been offered a severance package from a small independently

Resolved Question:

I have been offered a severance package from a small independently owned firm I worked for and there is a reference to age discrimination. I am 50 years old but don't believe I have a case against age discrimination. My question, if I try to leverage a larger severance by advising them that I plan to begin litigation, can they withdraw their original offer? The document is currently unexecuted by either party. Thanks for your help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

The severance package sounds like it includes standard language which is required under the law to be given if the employer is to rule out you coming back and suing later---and the age discrimination notice is one of those common clauses. it is not an indication that you have a discrimination claim, or that they believe you do. If you have no reason to believe you have been discriminated against, then you probably haven't been discriminated against.

Because severance agreements are not obligated under the law---an employer does not need give them out. If you are only bluffing when you suggest to them that you plan to sue, and the ask you why you would sue and you don't have a good factual reason, it is entirely possible that they would be angered by your unsupported threat and withdraw the package on the table---yes. If other people in your similar position have receive bigger severance packages in the past, then you may use that fact to argue for a better package---because if a company has a policy of providing severance, they must do so fairly.

Consider the package on its merits, and if you believe that your contributions to the company, or your longevity justify a greater benefit---then approach them in that manner. But avoid making threats that you neither intend to follow through with, nor have the facts to prove any wrongdoing. It is too much of a risk.

I wish you the best in 2012.

Because I help people here, like you, for a living---this is not a hobby for me, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX abiding by the honor system as regards XXXXX XXXXX I wish you and your family the best in your respective futures.

Would you be so kind as to Accept my Answer so that I may be compensated for assisting you? Bonuses for greatly informative and helpful answers are very much appreciated. Thanks Again,

Doug
LawTalk, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 27888
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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