Hello and welcome. I am very sorry to hear that your title is being eliminated.
With regard to your question, employers are only required to provide severance if they have 100 employees or more and provide less than 60 day's notice of the layoff. In that case, something called The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act would require the employer to provide 60 day's wages as "severance." In all other circumstances, the only way you will get severance is out of pure gratuity for your many years of service (not unreasonable to expect, but entirely discretionary on the part of your employer) or in exchange for a waiver of your right to sue.
Naturally, employers are more inclined to offer severance and severance in larger amounts to employees whom they perceive to be litigation risks--that is, employees who may have meritorious legal claims against the company. The problem is that most terminations are perfectly legal, since employment in CA is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination is fair, reasonable or even true.
This puts you in a difficult position with little leverage to negotiate severance, especially if you do not have any reason to believe that your employer's REAL reason for letting you go is an illegal one (a legally protected trait or activity, as defined above). Of course, even then the neogitation needs to be handled very delicately because if you make too overt of a threat of a lawsuit then that may actually drive a wedge between you and your employer and make a mutual agreement less likely. However, if you simply let your employer know when the time comes that you are willing to sign a waiver of all legal claims, you may find success with that approach. Conservatively, I would typically shoot 1 week of severance for every year of employment. This is a common method for calculating how much severance an employer will offer.
I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
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