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Tina
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 31680
Experience:  JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I was told in June that my department was being reorganized

Resolved Question:

I was told in June that my department was being reorganized and I would be laid off and given a severance package or I could be "re-hired" in the new position that was being created for me. This was supposed to have been effective as of July 1 and as of today, August 22nd, that change still hasn't taken effect. I never saw the severance agreement in writing, nor has anything in writing come my way in terms of the new agreement, the new title and pay scale. ALthough I have seen a new job description. I should add that the new position offered included a demotion and a pay cut. I needed to stay employed for a variety of reasons and was going to accept the new terms. However, I have rethought my options and would now like to exercise the severance package option. Is this still even possible? I work in Los Angeles, California. I am not looking to go to court, I just want to know what my options are.

Thanks,

Erin
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Has the employer explained the delay for instituting this change? Did the communication you received indicate a deadline for accepting a severance package?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Tina,


 


The employer has not indicated why the delay has occurred. I can only imagine that it is just the way that this company works- everything takes twice as long.


 


When I was told verbally about the package and my options, they indicated that I would have a week to review it, but again, I was never given anything to review in writing that stated any of this.


 


To give you a reference point on dates, the initial meeting where I was told this was happening was May 15th. A follow up meeting to discuss other options was June 7th. I received the revised job description and title on July 17th, but no formal paperwork has been sent to change my salary or officially change my title. Additionally, it was at the May 15th meeting that the severance package was mentioned, June 7th they told me I had a week to decide what I was going to do- take the new job or take the severance package and that the changes would take effect on July 1. I have never seen the severance package in writing.


 


I look forward to hearing from you.


 


Best,



Erin

Expert:  Tina replied 11 months ago.
I see. Thank you for clarifying the situation for me, Erin.

Since they have not provided the documents for your review, it sounds as though there have been some unexpected delays that the company does not wish to share with you. Whether you would be entitled to receive a severance or not would be purely a matter of contract law typically since there is no statutory requirement that an employer pay severance to an employee upon departure.

I would try to inquire from HR as to what the delay is in providing the paperwork to the affected employees so the employees can review it and make their decision. It is possible that the restructuring will not take place at all and in that case, you would likely remain in your current position and not be entitled to a severance package if you decide to leave the company unless you have a contract indicating that you are entitled to severance.

The employer's assertions that the restructuring would be taking place soon and these options would be given to the affected employees would not typically constitute a contract at this point, so the employer does not have an obligation to pay severance and may change the terms of its restructuring. In other words, if you wish to elect the severance, it will be necessary to wait until the employer actually provides a firm offer before there would be an opportunity to accept it (and thereby enter into an enforceable contract at that point) since there is no "offer" on the table yet--just the expectation of an offer, which is not legally enforceable.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina





Tina, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 31680
Experience: JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
Tina and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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