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Ask Tina Your Own Question
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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My wife was just informed that her services are no longer needed

Customer Question

My wife was just informed that her services are no longer needed at her company. They just offered her a month severance pay and her bonus. She's been there 3 yrs and they said the reason they are letting her go is that she should be supporting a partner. The partner she supported left on not so good terms and she has been supporting lower level positions since he departed. She's never received any negative comments on a review. The gentleman she currently assists says she's always been a B+ assistant. She told them she didn't think a month was enough and they said they'd get back to her tomorrow. Not sure of what the negotiation strategy should be. This is a private equity company with 30+ employees in San Francisco.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

Does the employer have a written policy of paying a specific amount of severance based on number of years of service or other criteria?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm 99% sure there's nothing regarding severance in her "at will" contract.
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
I see.

In that case, the law does not typically require that the employer pay any severance to employees.

Because of this, your wife would not normally have signficant leverage to negotiate more severance unless there is a basis for her to allege that the employer has violated the law in terminating her, such as violations of anti-discrimination or anti-retaliation laws.

If there is any wrongdoing she can point to by the company with regard to her employment, then that should be raised in attempting to negotiate a higher severance. Otherwise, unless they are willing to negotiate, they may rescind the offer of severance altogether.

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