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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 111550
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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My company went through a merger several months ago (we

Customer Question

My company went through a merger several months ago (we acquired another company) and the plans have recently been communicated to us.
Among the highlights which i have concerns over are :
- There are two classifications of employees that current employees of the two companies are being bucketed into: ***** *****; these employees don't have to interview as their jobs/positions/locations are not being affected by the merger and 2- everyone else; these employees have to interview for newly created roles.
-Positions are not being offered in current city ( company created new consolidated HQ in another state)
-We have been given two options: 1- interview for new/same position that is located in new HQ (at that point, if offered a position, we can accept or decline offer) or 2- apply for another position that is available in our current city (of which none have been communicated)
In the event of no acceptable offer/position- we will be given a severance package. If we dont' apply, it's considered resignation.
So there are really a few things that i'm trying to understand:
1- My director informed all of us that we are incumbent and would not have to interview or relocate (i have this in email and a screenshot from a company chat application); but HR has recently told me (and my peers) that we do in fact have to interview- does my director's commitment hold any weight?
2- I was given a sign on bonus and have not reached the threshold for forgiveness (1 year=50% 2 year=100%)...i am not expecting to accept a relo offer as the COL is nearly 300% more in new location...am i still obligated to repay this (or can they claw back from bonus)?
3- Is there any obligation for a minimum threshold (dollars) in a severance package from a company in GA? ie- 1 year tenure=1 month severance, 2 year= 2 month, etc...
Thanks!
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If files are needed for reference or clarification i can upload.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, your employment with your company is at will, this means the employer gets to make the rules. Even though your director told you in an email you would not have to reapply or interview, this can be changed at any time by the at will employer and if HR is now telling you something different they can legally do so.
If the termination of your employment is because of your company's own fault and not your fault, then in most cases they will not clawback the sign on bonus, but tell us exactly what your bonus clause says word for word.
Severance is completely at the discretion of the employer, there is no statutory severance and no minimum amounts. The general rule is 2 weeks severance per year of employment for regular employees and 3-4 weeks per year for mid to upper level executives. That is just a guideline though and it is not a law and it remains up to the employer.
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