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Receive a severance package from work on a reorg and want to…

Customer Question
Receive a severance package...

Receive a severance package from work on a reorg and want to know if should sign off on it

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

New York was where I worked, company main office is based in California

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?

Full time employment OK

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/12/2017
Employment Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,640
Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation
Verified

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

What are your questions concerning the document?

Do you have any belief that your lay off is related to any discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age, disability or recent FMLA use?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I am over 40 (now 47) and felt slighted over time, where I was not provided opportunity to grow in company. Also, person took over my role was a good friend of the boss.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I can send over the docs for review later, I also had some personal information that was not returned to me yet, I have 45 days to agree or disagree. Term agreement was given to me 12/7
Employment Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer replied 2 months ago

The problem here is that your facts conflict with an age discrimination claim.

The fact that the role was taken over by a friend of the boss actually works against you. It is not illegal to hire people based on relationship (even family relationship), so what that fact does is give the employer a legitimate and non-discriminatory excuse for why you were replaced which cuts against an age discrimination claim. When alleging discrimination, if the employer can establish any legitimate, non-discriminatory basis for their decision, that undermines the allegation of discrimination.

Here, the employer can just say "yeah, I hired my friend" and that pretty much kills the argument that it was based on age.

Just based on what you've stated so far, given that it is an "at will" position, I see no basis for you to refrain from signing the severance.

If you have any further questions or other facts that you would like me to consider, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a three, a four or preferably a five star rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Can I cancel the online and call you in few hours, seems best to scan and then talk to you
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
OK, what about negotiating more, I was given just 8 weeks, while working there 3 and 1/2 years. Can I do that?
Employment Lawyer: Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer replied 2 months ago

You can try to negotiate, but the problem is that without a legal threat that you can make, your ability to negotiate is very low. 8 weeks is actually a lot of severance in the present economy, particularly when you appear to have no basis to sue the employer.

The problem with trying to negotiate here is that if you make a counter-offer, you are legally rejecting their offer. They can then say "no thanks...we'll just fire you without severance" and that's it. You can't back down to their original offer, as they don't have to put it back on the table. I have seen this happen many times.

Without some threat that you can make of a reasonable lawsuit, there is no leverage to negotiate here.

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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19,640
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Experience: Employment/Labor Law Litigation

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