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I am 62. Manager of a chemical plant for mosaic. My position…

Customer Question
I am 62....

I am 62. Manager of a chemical plant for mosaic. My position is being eliminated due to restructuring. I was told I had a job, but did I want to retire or quit with a package. I asked what was the package? I have a text that the package was 6 months pay plus 3-6 months transitional pay. I told them yes I was interested. I will continue:

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

I am in Florida. I confirmed the package proposal with the hr manager the next day and was told basically the same thing. A week later I got the package and it was only 6 months pay.

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

I am salaried at will. I am being paid until the end of month. I have employee dispute resolution agreement with mosaic. They want me to sign accepting the package first of the year and release them from claims. I complained about the bait and switch and they offered to let me work until may to. Are up the difference. I have a copy of the text offer and they know it.

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

That should be enough. I don’t want to lose the 6 months pay offer but if I sign the agreement I don’t think I have recourse.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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12/21/2017
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Patrick, Esq.
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,557
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I am sorry to hear about these difficult negotiations. What specifically is your question regarding this matter? Are you asking if your employer can offer less in severance than what they initially told you they would? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

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Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Were you able to view my reply? Are you online with me?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
My concern is this-
I was offered but not guaranteed certain terms which I based my decision on and told them I would leave the company based on those terms. My position was then supposedly eliminated due to my decision, but they are transferring another employee in to take the that position as an assistant area manager. I am a area manager.
The Employee Dispute Resolution agreement prevents me from taking legal action from them outside of the process as long as I am an employee, which I am until 12/31. After that, I have to sign an agreement to release them from claim if I accept the severance pay.
Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you.

What you describe seems extremely unfair and bordering on unethical. However, what you must understand is that employment is "at will" absent an agreement to the contrary and as such you 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.

Thus, it doesn't matter if your position was eliminated because you expressed interest in the severance package or not. They could have chosen to eliminated your position without any input from you at all.

As far as the amount of severance changing, what you must also understand is that employers have no legal obligation to offer any severance at all, except in certain very limited circumstances involving mass layoffs with minimal notice. In all other cases, any amount of severance is up to you and your employer to negotiate, and you do not have an enforceable agreement until signatures are on the page. This is to say they can indicate they'll offer a certain amount and then offer less without violating the law. Again, this is not to say this is fair or ethical. I believe it is neither. But my point is that the law is not violated by the conduct you describe. All you can do is attempt to negotiate with your employer and appeal to their sense of fairness.

I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is 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...

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Employment Lawyer: Patrick, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Hello again,

I just wanted to followup because this question was still open and I have not heard back from you. Was there anything more I can do to assist you? Did you get a chance to review my answer to your question? Please let me know....

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