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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11045
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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After 23 Years at 27 Billion dollar company in Massachusetts

Customer Question

After 23 Years at 27 Billion dollar company in Massachusetts I was told I have job on July 15,2016 and I can't work on any projects...focus on the new job search (internally or externally). I Was not walked out the building. No HR person was with me. No other details. NEW Manager from Europe that flew in for 2 days. There was a previous lay off 2 weeks before which was very formal (other groups). What should I do? NExt steps...
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Hello and welcome. I am very sorry about this situation. I think I am a little confused, though. You were told you have a job but that you can't work on any projects? What does that mean? Also, here on Just Answer we cannot tell you what to do, we can only answer specific legal questions. So, would you please kindly ask a specific legal question or questions so that I can assist you? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
can they avoid paying severance if I am delayed to July 15 and I am allowed to use the building and look internally and externally for jobs using work resources...and they don't allow me to work on existing projects, How do I protect myself on this
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you. Do you have a contract that expressly entitles you to severance? Also, what do you mean by "delayed to July 15"?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Are you still with me?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I apologize for leaving...No contract...other people let go in April received Severance...I am told officially I am terminated july 15, 2016 vs now immediately (which is being nice to me) but are they able to use this to avoid severance pay out to me. I have a large salary and would possibly get X $$ per week pay per year of service. 23 Years .
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I will return after 9am
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you. The thing about severance is that except in certain limited and inapplicable circumstances, employers have no obligation to pay it unless there is an express promise to the contrary. So, your employer doesn't need to resort to tricks to avoid paying severance to you. If they don't want to, and if they don't have a contract requiring them to, they simply don't have to. Now, although employers generally don't "have" to offer severance, they often do so out of good will or more commonly in exchange for a waiver of any rights the employee may have to sue. Naturally, in the latter case, the amount of severance an employer is willing to offer will correlate to the perceived "litigation risk" the employee presents. Most employees do not present a real litigation risk because employment is "at will" and can be terminated at any time for virtually any non-discriminatory reason (i.e. any reason not based on race, religion, gender, age, etc.) If you believe that you were terminated for a discriminatory reason such as this, you can use that as leverage to negotiate a severance package. Otherwise, though, you are really not in a position to be making demands, and the best course of action is to generally request a severance package out of good will for your years of severance, while also offering to sign a general release. By offering to sign a general release, you are not making any sort of direct threat, but it is enough of a signal that you will be investigating your rights further that most employers will be willing to pay some sort of severance just to avoid a problem. That is really all you can typically do based on the facts you have described. There is no way to fully protect yourself because in most cases it is not illegal to terminate an "at will" employee and the law does not compel the payment of severance. So, you need to be strategic in your actions. I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.* Disclaimer *Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Hello again,I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.Very best wishes.

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