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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12785
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Hello, I am finding myself in an interesting situation regarding

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Hello, I am finding myself in an interesting situation regarding employment. I am a California employee whose company is reducing headcount by 9%. I have been told that I am "on the list" for potential termination. The interesting part is that I was put on medical leave due being hit and run by a vehicle. Roughly speaking, is this at all legal to terminate me while on medical leave? Some employees over 50 are being offered an early retirement package but being laid off and rehired in the last year and half has wiped out my longevity status to be offered the package. I am not sure how to proceed in the case I am terminated at the end of the month. Regards, Robert
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am very sorry to hear about your accident and that you have been informed you may be let go.

Can you please tell me how long you have been on medical leave and whether this leave was designated as "FMLA protected" leave?

Does your employer employ more than 100 people, and if so, will 50 or more be let go within the same 30 days period?

I very much look forward to assisting you regarding this matter.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello, my company has ~14,000 globally. Originally this accident occurred on May 20 of this year and believe it fell under the FMLA status. Now I am "classed" as a longer term Leave of Absence administered by Sedgwick on behalf of Prudential and my company. I am very curious what my rights may be under this circumstance.


Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, if you have been on leave since May, there would typically be no legal limitations on your employer's right to let you go, even if your leave qualified for FMLA status. This is because FMLA only provides up to 12 weeks of protected job leave, and employment is otherwise "at will," meaning terminable at any time for any reason.

With regard to severance, an employer generally has no legal obligation to provide any at all. However, there is a limited exception to this general rule codified within the WARN act. Under the federal WARN Act, an employer with at least 100 employees that lays off at least 50 during a 30-day period must either give 60 days notice of the lay off or pay 60 days wages.

This is a rather narrow exception, but if your layoff falls within these parameters then you would be entitled to 60 days wages as a severance.

Otherwise, while you are entirely free to negotiate for or request severance, your employer would be under no legal obligation to provide you with any severance at all.

I realize that the law is not entirely in your favor here and I am truly sorry to have to deliver bad news. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate an accurate explanation of the law and realize that it would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

If you do not have any further concerns, I would be very grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating and click submit, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you. If you have any additional concerns that you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know by hitting the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button and I will be more than happy to continue assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Thank you and very kindest regards.
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