How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joseph Your Own Question
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
Type Your California Employment Law Question Here...
Joseph is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was fired yesterday after working for a company 17 years.

Customer Question

I was fired yesterday after working for a company 17 years. I was the west coast sales manager. Reason drop in sales for the last couple years.
My question, in the last 5 yeas there have been several employees that have been termated and most have recieved a severance package. One who held the same position in the east for the same reason, was termanated and recieved severance. I did not. I want to fight the way I was terinated and feel I an entilted to a severance
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

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

I have a few questions for you before I can proceed with your answer.

Were you terminated for cause or did your employer inform you that you were terminated due to the drop in sales in the last couple of years?

Do you have any reason to believe that you were terminated due to discrimination based on a protected characteristic (such as race, gender, national origin, or ethnicity)?
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Wally,

Unfortunately, even though your employer has previously given a severance package to an employee in the same position who was terminated for the same reasons that does not create any obligation for them to give a severance package to you or other similarily situated employees.

This is one of those areas of the law that do not support what is ethical and just, since you definitely deserve a settlement package from your employer after 17 years of service with them, but unfortunately, an employer is not oblgiated to give you any amount in severance despite your length of service with the company.

As an at-will employee, your employer may terminate you at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice, including a drop in sales. And since there is no legal obligation for an employer to provide any employees with severance packages it is at their discretion to do so.

That said, you may be able to get a severance package if there is any possible claim that you may have against your employer for discrimination based on a protected characteristic (including age). Employers typically prefer the surity of settling these cases by obtaining waivers in exchange for severance packages rather than risking potential lawsuits.

I sincerly wish I had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate a direct and honest answer to your question.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions.

Thanks and best of luck!