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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12952
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I was off after 12 years with a company as a result of

Customer Question

I was laid off after 12 years with a company as a result of restructuring and received a severance package. The specific reason for the lay off was stated as "your current position of Document Management Technician has been eliminated". I have.
JA: Have you documented this or discussed it with HR?
Customer: i have been looking for jobs with the same type of position, and yesterday saw 2 on a job site foe my exact position title and qualifications. Do I have any recourse?
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: At will
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Full time
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Unfortunately, there is nothing inherently illegal about telling an employee an inaccurate reason for why they are being let go. This is true because employment in all states but Montana 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.

Since an employer doesn't need a good reason or even a true reason to terminate employment, the law does not require an employer to disclose their true reason. This, of course, assumes your employer was intentionally misleading you in the first place. It's possible that they cut too many positions are are rehiring, or that they are now experiencing unexpected growth.

What you'd need to prove is that you were terminated for an illegal reason, such as discrimination based on a legally protected trait (i.e. race, religion, disability). Even then, however, if you signed a severance agreement you almost certainly waived your right to bring such a claim. Most severance agreements also contain a clause saying your employer has no obligation to rehire you, so a claim can't be premised on discrimination occurring after the severance agreement was signed.

I hope that you find this information helpful and I'm genuinely sorry if it's not what you were hoping to hear. 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.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok, thanks
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

You are very welcome. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service (using the stars at the top of the page) so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Very best wishes.