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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19169
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I live and work in Pennsylvania in a law office doing Ediscovery

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I live and work in Pennsylvania in a law office doing Ediscovery work. The firm has not invested in training or any new tools and when I have asked about training and upgrades, I have been told that our budget is too tight and we are not in a position to invest in technology. At my review last week I asked if we were getting outsourced knowing that my Director has been in contact with several vendors over the past 6 months requesting quotes for a master service agreement with them to replace my job. I was told by my director that "people" above her have been asking for information but nothing is in the works. Yesterday I found out that they have chosen a vendor and are working out a few details and everyone but the Director who told me that we are not in talks to outsource will be let go.
Since I am years behind on training and technology and the firm has turned down my requests for these things, where would I stand in a negotiation for severance and job training? I feel that I am a few years behind others in my field since my work has mostly been focused on keeping old tools running instead of working with the newer tools available.

Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.


Unless you have some sort of contract which requires first that you can only be terminated for cause and second that you actually receive some sort of severance, you're really not in any sort of legal position to negotiate severance at all.


Severance is not required in any state or federal law, so it is only paid in one of three instances.


1. The company is breaching a contract of employment that requires that you can only be terminated for cause or they are contractually obligated to pay it. Then, the threat is suit for breach of the contract and then you'd be able to negotiate.


2. You have some sort of discrimination claim against them that they would take seriously, such that they want to buy a "waiver of suit" from you. So, if you have any evidence that the basis for your separation would your race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA use, then you can use the legitimate threat of a suit in order to negotiate.


3. The company simply wants to be fair with you and pay something. Here, there is no room for negotiation because the entire basis for the severance is the employer's goodwill...which may be reduced by a demand for more than is originally offered.


While I certainly understand your concern about lack of training and moving forward in the industry while working with them, that doesn't create any legal leverage at all to negotiate severance.

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