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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I have been terminated from my position as a civil engineer

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I have been terminated from my position as a civil engineer in California. The letter for the severance pay pacakge gives me only 7 days to sign or not. That's not sufficient time for me to think about it all.
I want to know if by law there was a minimum period of time that the state of California allows from employees to think over the terms of the severance package?
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer,

My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Can you tell me if you are over the age of 40 and if your severance package includes a waiver of your rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



No I am 39 of age.


The waiver doesn't specifically talk about Age DE Act, but includes everything without limitation. So I guess its included.




Hello Bya,

Unfortunately, the only law that exists in California or federally that requires employees to be provided with a certain amount of time to look over severance agreements is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

It only applies to agreements that specifically wave someone's rights under it, and would, unfortunately, only apply to those who are 40 years of age or older and are covered by the act. (It provides for 45 days for severance agreements that require employees to wave their rights under the ADEA to receive their severance packages).

Unfortunately, there is no other California or federal law that requires that employees be provided with a certain amount of time to read over and consider severance agreements.

This is largely due to the employment at-will doctrine, which allows an employer to terminate an employee at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice, and does not require severance to be given to any employee.

Indeed, unfortunately, if an agreement does not contain an ADEA waiver, an employer can literally require an employee to make an instant decision to accept it or not.

All that said, it would be very reasonable to ask for additional time to consider the severance agreement, especially if you believe you may have a cause of action that you are giving up against your employer. And, your employer, would be very likely to allow you (at least) another week to look over the agreement if you explain that you need that time to look over it and carefully consider it. (Although it's important to note that as an at-will employee, your employer can decide to decrease or eliminate altogether any severance amount offered to you).

I hope the above information is helpful, although I realize it is not what you wanted to hear. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. It would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.
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Thanks and best of luck!


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