Employment Law

Employment law questions? Ask an employment lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

NC - Company of 31+ years was purchased by another company.

NC - Company of...

NC - Company of 31+ years was purchased by another company. I was retained with new company at a much reduced rate of pay. Despite seeking to be moved into other areas where there were needs and positions available that would pay closer to my salary, I was left in my current field. After 2 Full time clerks were brought into my office under the pre-text of "moving me out of the dispatch role into more of a management role", I was released stating "business decision" - Corporate Cut Backs.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At Will

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Just that it was presented as cut Backs despite the fact that they moved 2 more full time personnel into the office before removing me.

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Answered in 2 minutes by:
8/30/2017
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,401
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and welcome. I am very sorry to hear about this. Do you have any reason to suspect that your age, race, religion or something along those lines might have been your employer's true reason for letting you go? If so, what facts are you basing your opinion on? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Nothing concrete, Age is the only thing that makes sense since the positions around me that would have gotten me to my salary level were all filled with younger personnel with less experience. Wasn't sure if anything could be made of it being called Corporate Cut Backs when in fact they had to put 2 more full time people in the office before I could be "released".

Thank you.

So the general rule in NC is that employment 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 means it's not illegal for your employer to be dishonest about their reason for letting you go. They can call it a cutback even if that's not true. They might do something like that to spare your feelings or minimize controversy.

Where this is potentially relevant is if you have evidence of discrimination on the basis of a protected trait (as defined above). Then, the fact that your employer's stated reason for letting you go doesn't hold up suggests that it was merely a fabricated pretense to conceal their unlawful motive of discrimination. The thing is, you would bear the burden of proving that discrimination, and discrimination can be very hard to prove. Mere suspicion is not enough, and generally neither is the fact that you were replaced by someone younger. Just as a matter of odds, if you are older then chances are good that the person replacing you will be younger, simply because there are more people out there younger than you.

What I'd want to see is a pattern of targeting older employees, derogatory comments about your age, things along those lines. For instance, if your manager recently told you that you are "too old to keep up," and then you found out that 6 other older employees were let go while all younger employees were retained, that would strongly suggest age discrimination. But you really need evidence like this to prevail on such a claim.

Still, given your age and tenure with the company it certainly may be prudent to retain an attorney and see if some sort of severance can be negotiated wherein you agree to waive legal claims in exchange for financial compensation. Many employers will be willing to pay some amount of severance in these circumstances just to tie up loose ends and avoid the possibility of time consuming litigation. As far as an actual lawsuit goes, though, you would typically want more evidence.

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.

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.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Is there anything else you need? The paperwork I signed when I departed had items in it restricting me from seeking future employment which seems odd since this was a lay off and not a for cause termination.

Please see my answer above, I think our messages crossed.

What paperwork did you sign? Did you accept severance money? Did the clause restricting you from seeking further employment restrict you from working for this same employer in the future, or for someone else?

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Our messages did cross and Thank you for your thorough response. Basically it said what I suspected. The decision was probably based more on my rate of pay.The paperwork I signed was a waiver of legal claims in exchange for a 2 week severance. It is several pages long and after thoroughly reading it, noticed the disclaimer that "Releasor agrees not to seek reinstatement, future employment, or other working relationship with the company or any of its affiliates."It offers a 2 week Severance of $3079.93 after all waiting periods have passed. I assume that is because I was told that I could resend my waiver in the next 7 days and if I did, they would not pay the Severance.

Thank you.

So it sounds like you signed a fairly standard severance agreement. Two weeks is not a lot of severance money given your length of employment with the company, but since your employer didn't have to offer anything at all, it is still perhaps worth it if you don't believe you have the evidence to support a lawsuit.

By law, age discrimination cannot be waived unless the release contains a clause allowing the employee to rescind for 7 days after they sign. So yes, you could rescind, but if you did your employer obviously would not have to pay you the money they are offering. You could try to negotiate something better, but this could also backfire and you could wind up with nothing at all.

The clause about not seeking future employment is standard. It's there to prevent future lawsuits based on alleged discrimination. You can't waive claims for things that haven't happened yet, so employers are always worried that an employee will apply down the road and not be hired and then sue for discrimination based on that future incident. To avoid this from happening, they include a clause about being ineligible for future employment.

I hope this helps. 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.

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Thank you.

You are very welcome. If there is anything else I can clarify for you before we wrap up please let me know...

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question

Are you still with me?

Ask Your Own Employment Law Question

If I have answered your questions, please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the attorneys here are not employees of the site and otherwise do not receive credit for spending time with customers.

Best wishes to you as you move forward here.

Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,401
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
Patrick, Esq. and 87 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with an employment lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,401
14,401 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.

Patrick, Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care.

MildredWashington, DC

Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you

Happy CustomerDenver, CO

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Allen M., Esq.

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

13,334 satisfied customers

Employment/Labor Law Litigation

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

12,490 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Lawyer

12,478 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

JB Umphrey

JB Umphrey

Lawyer

6,273 satisfied customers

Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.

John

John

Employment Lawyer

4,029 satisfied customers

Exclusively practice labor and employment law.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

3,007 satisfied customers

I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.

ScottyMacEsq

ScottyMacEsq

Lawyer

2,893 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Employment Law Questions
I feel that I have been discrimated against and have been a
I feel that I have been discrimated against and have been a victim of constructive dismissal. … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
33,391 satisfied customers
I was approached by an employee yesterday regarding an
I was approached by an employee yesterday regarding an incident with another employee, not between the two. The 2nd EE told the 1st EE about being threatened with her job by a manager. … read more
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
14,401 satisfied customers
I was demoted after 7 months on a new job and my salary was
I was demoted after 7 months on a new job and my salary was cut by 25,000 dollars. I have 34 years with the company. Another person was also demoted but given back their previous position with no chan… read more
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
14,401 satisfied customers
If I offer my full time worker a reduced role and reduced
If I offer my full time worker a reduced role and reduced salary and he doesn't accept it can he still claim unemployment benefits ?… read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
13,334 satisfied customers
My former contractor is threating Non-compete litigation based
My former contractor is threating Non-compete litigation based on my initial 6 month contract was with them that expired 12/31 and was an SOW contract. I am still with the company as "staff" and with … read more
Delta-Lawyer
Delta-Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
3,510 satisfied customers
My wages have been cut 20%,10%, 0 and now 5%. I am salaried.
My wages have been cut 20%,10%, 0 and now 5%. I am salaried. I get paid straight time if I work over 6 hours on sat or sun. About a month ago our president of the co said we have 2 full checks coming.… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,478 satisfied customers
We had to reduce hours at our Chicago, IL location because
We had to reduce hours at our Chicago, IL location because business contracts have been cut back. It was reduce hours or eliminate jobs all together. After explaining this to employees, we received no… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,490 satisfied customers
I volunteered to defer part of my contracted salary when my
I volunteered to defer part of my contracted salary when my company was stuggling in 2008 a ended up being terminated in December 2009. The company claims that I am not entitled to that defered pay be… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,490 satisfied customers
Hello, I have been working for a small women owned buiness
Hello, I have been working for a small women owned buiness for 10 years. In the past two years she has reduced my salary two times. The first time she told me that in order for her to meet her numbers… read more
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
6,273 satisfied customers
I was recently accused of misconduct for not following the
I was recently accused of misconduct for not following the directives issued by my dispatch center. I was on a fixed route with added Para transit pick ups. All Par transit pick ups were going as sche… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,490 satisfied customers
At my annual review, I signed a form with my current salary
At my annual review, I signed a form with my current salary and new increased salary (showing 4% increase). The current salary amount was incorrect and was adjusted down by HR without my knowledge. Ca… read more
MDLaw
MDLaw
Attorney
Post-Doctoral Degree
358 satisfied customers
My wife recently suffered a heart attack. After recovering,
My wife recently suffered a heart attack. After recovering, she was released back to work. Her employer is the COnecuh COunty Sheriffs' Office. She was originally hired as a corrections officer, but w… read more
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Employment Lawyer
Juris Doctor, Cum Laude
13,334 satisfied customers
I was laid off from a corporate setting with no advance notice
I was laid off from a corporate setting with no advance notice the layoff was due to the business closing . I was laid off on June 12, 2009 after working there for 6yrs and 7 mos and the business clos… read more
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
12,490 satisfied customers
My company just adopted some new vacation and sick pay policies
My company just adopted some new vacation and sick pay policies which seem unacceptable especially in Tx. Prior to this policy, everyone received anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks vacation depending on senio… read more
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey
Lawyer
Juris Doctor
6,273 satisfied customers
All employees, exempt and non-exempt were required to take
All employees, exempt and non-exempt were required to take a 3 day per month furlough for a 15% pay reduction. The company owner said that it would be frowned upon if management didn't work on the fur… read more
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq.
Juris Doctor (JD)
11,428 satisfied customers
IVE BEEN EMPLOYED WITH A MAJOR HEAVY EQUIPMENT DEALERSHIP
I'VE BEEN EMPLOYED WITH A MAJOR HEAVY EQUIPMENT DEALERSHIP OVER 10 YEARS NOW AS A FIELD SERVICE TECH (HOURLY EMPLOYEE). OUR COMPANY HAS EXPERIENCED A SLOW DOWN. WE HAD A MEETING AND IT WAS EXPLAINED T… read more
Tina
Tina
Doctoral Degree
83 satisfied customers
I was working for an oil company as a dispatcher. About 3 ...
I was working for an oil company as a dispatcher. About 3 weeks ago our corporate office "lost" my pre-employment drug test. I had been working there 2 months when they called and said that drugs had … read more
Mr Lofton
Mr Lofton
Doctoral Degree
702 satisfied customers
I live in Virginia and my employers corporate office ...
I live in Virginia and my employer''s corporate office is in Tennessee. While I was out of work on sick leave, I was informed that my position was being moved to TN. I was not offered the opportunity … read more
Lawgirl
Lawgirl
Founder
Doctoral Degree
4,606 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x