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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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After over 5 years in an upper management positon with the

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After over 5 years in an upper management positon with the same company where I consistently delivered Strong Performance ratings, I was notified on March 1 that I am being involuntarily terminated because my position is being eliminated. My term date is March 15, 2012.

I am a 55 year old gay woman and am married (pre-Prop 8) to a woman who is disabled due to Multiple Sclerosis and receives SS disability. My company is aware of this.

While I have been offered a severance package, I have two questions I hope you can answer and/or provide counsel on:

1. Other employees have been involuntarily terminated had been given 30 and sometimes 60 days to find other jobs within the company, and were able to maintain their employee status (pay and benefits) while doing so . These terminations were not part of a RIF. I have been given only two weeks to do the same. I questioned this and was told that "by law" the company doesn't have to provide me with more time unless they are terminating 50 or more people. A: Is the company correct? B: In light of what they've done for others, is this unfair and if so, what are my options?

2. Are their any employment laws (Federal or California) that require employeers to provide additional severance benefits for employees who are involuntarily terminated and have disabled spouses? I know I can elect COBRA coverage. Just curious if there are other things I should consider or be aware of.

Ok, that was a lot longer than I meant it to be.

Many thanks in advance.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.


A) Yes, unforutnately, this is true. Employers are only obligated to give employees 30 days of pay and benefits if the employer lays off 50 or more employees and fails to give them 30 days notice in accord with the WARN act.

B) Yes, what the company is doing is unfair, but unfortunately, it isn't illegal, since they are in accord with all laws, and don't have a legal obligation to offer you any severance as an at-will employee.

2) No, unfortunately, there are no such laws that require employers to provide any (or additional) severance benefits to employees with disabled spouses.

Joseph and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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