How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask A.J. Your Own Question

A.J.
A.J., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4211
Experience:  Licensed to practice law, I have experience in Employment, Appeals, and Landlord/Tenant Law
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
A.J. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I was unexpectedly laid off from a job with a company

Resolved Question:

Hello, I was unexpectedly laid off from a job with a company after 10 years of service. I was a Superintendent, no incident was a reason. I will be 62 in September. They gave me medical for about 3 weeks past my layoff, no separation pay. I received a bonus last Christmas and have good relations with other bonuses through the years. Should I request some sort of severance pay. I was laid off March 8, 2013. I am taking early retirement in September. I feel they cost me about 45,000 dollars in lost wages. My last project with the company, I worked 37 days strait, 12-14 hours per day. Then the layoff.

Doug Heise
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  A.J. replied 1 year ago.
Hello, and thank you for using Just Answer. My name isXXXXX am an employment law professional, and I look forward to answering your question this evening.

However, before I do, I want to make sure that I know where you are writing from. You listed the country as "Australia" and then the state as "Washington". Are you in the United States or in Australia? (I am only a US professional, if this is an Australia question, I will request that it be moved to the proper category).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry about that. Washington State is the answer.

Expert:  A.J. replied 1 year ago.
Not a problem at all, I just needed to make sure.

First, although Washington state does not require that an employer provide vacation or sick time to employees, once these benefits are promised and accrued, an employer does generally have to pay out for any unused time at the end of the employment, unless they have an express written policy against doing so. This would be an issue that could be raised in a small claims complaint, as failure to pay promised benefits. For detailed information on when and how to use small claims court in Washington, the state court system provides a website at:

http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/resources/?fa=newsinfo_jury.scc&altMenu=smal

As for severance pay, unfortunately unless there was an employment contract in place promising severance, this is not required in Washington. Now, just because something is not required does not mean you cannot ask, they may be willing to negotiate a severance in exchange for your not bringing a suit over the vacation time, or a discrimination claim such as age discrimination. Although in the absence of a contract, employees are employed at-will, and an employer can terminate their employment without cause or notice (even where that employee has had a good record previously), it is unlawful to do so under both federal and state law if the primary reason is that employee's age, race, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation (under state law only).

So, in short, an employer is supposed to pay out unused vacation time if they do not have an express policy in place saying they will not. As for a severance, while an employer is not obligated to provide one, there may be issues that an employee can raise that would encourage an employer to provide a reasonable severance.

I hope this helps, and let me know if you require any additional information or need clarification of anything I have said. Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer os that I can receive credit for my work.
A.J., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4211
Experience: Licensed to practice law, I have experience in Employment, Appeals, and Landlord/Tenant Law
A.J. and 10 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
< Last | Next >
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
  • Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you Happy Customer Denver, CO
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10539
    Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9785
    Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jaccorpsesq/2011-11-13_21141_JAnewphoto.64x64.jpg Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.

    Employment Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9429
    Employment/Labor Law Litigation
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MILawyer/2011-2-28_0311_JBUprofile.64x64.jpg JB Umphrey's Avatar

    JB Umphrey

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6273
    Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2469
    Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2214
    I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.