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I was working for a company 20 yrs last yr they offered me…

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I was working for...

I was working for a company 20 yrs last yr they offered me severance or lower pay I am 46 and 45 at that time they gave me 3days to decide they said it was because they were taking away my position I've been in many positions since being with the company always had good customer service trained people I hadn't gotten a raise in 5 yrs before then they would give me yearly raises based on performance they told me when they take my position I would be paid at the highest level possible for that position district manager told me 14.50 store manager told me 14.35 they gave me 14.00 and then gave me a raise and I ask why would they give me a raise of. I believe .15cents if I was at the highest level my co worker makes 15 same position and another 14.35 who has been with company for 12yrs they have cut my hrs and my pay I made 32000 in 2016 only 23000 in 2017 wish I had more time to decide on severance and they have me doing the same duties they said they would change and 2 of the days were weekend days

Lawyer's Assistant: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.

My email***@******.***

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?

I talked to hr they told me to take severance and reapply at end of severance I told him that was stupid no lawyer

Lawyer's Assistant: Are you an "at will" employee? Do you belong to a union?

No

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 19 minutes by:
3/24/2018
Employment Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Attorney Wendy
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,197
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
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Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. If you can provide me additional information (or a copy of any written severance agreement) as to the severance package offered, I will be more able to provide a thorough response. As a preliminary matter, in terms of your separation from employment/termination, do you know if they are currently trying to fill your position or was your position eliminated? Also, did you inquire as to transferring to another position?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
They eliminated the position changed to different name told me to apply I applied but did not get they wanted me to become management but with an 8 yr old hard to do
Employment Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Is the new position with the different name similar or substantially similar in job responsibilities and pay as the position you held?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I do not have extra funds
Employment Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

You can ignore any offer of premium services like a phone call - that is automatically generated by the JustAnswer system. We can proceed via email if you like.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Substantially similar I worked in cosmetics Dept selling cosmetics and other things in the store with the new title I would give facials and apply makeup along with that not have to do freight
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I work retail in the cosmetics Dept and still doing the same nothing has changed
Employment Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Thank you - that additional information is helpful. There are several things that come to mind for you to consider in this situation. First, a severance package is not typically required and is something an employer voluntarily offers to an employee. For that reason, they should always be considered. That said, along with the average severance - which will typically include some additional payments and/or benefits - the employee usually signs a severance agreement that waives any legal claims related to the employment relationship (discrimination, harassment, etc.); the only claim that in most areas cannot be waived is unemployment benefits. Whenever someone is 40 years old or older, for that waiver of claims to be valid, the severance agreement must meet several requirements, the most notable of which include: (1) it must be in writing and written so the employee can understand it; (2) it must specifically refer to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and that claims under that act are being waived; (3) it must specifically advise the employee to consult with an attorney before signing; and (4) and the employee must be given a minimum of 21 days from the date of the final severance offer to consider and sign the agreement. Thus, the 3 days you were given was inappropriate and even had you signed it likely would not have actually waived any other claims you might have against the employer.

I am not sure what state you are in, but most states are at-will employment states, meaning you or your employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason or no reason as long as the reason is not an illegal one like discrimination. Here, I cannot say if you have any legal claims. If you absolutely did not, then accepting a severance - often after trying to negotiate for a little bit more payment during the severance period - can be a good idea to provide funds while you search for the next job. If you do have potential claims, then you are giving them up in exchange for the severance so more careful consideration should be done.

It may be worthwhile to consult with a local attorney about the strength of any age discrimination claim you may have. Since you worked for the company for so long, they said they were eliminating your position, but then immediately created a newly titled but nearly identical position for which you were not hired, the next fact in weighing whether age may have motivated the termination/severance may depend on whether the person hired is younger than 40. If that person is, then you may (not certainly, but possibly) have a claim for age discrimination. The only fact you have provided that weighs against that is the offer of a managerial position. I totally understand that you were not in a position to take it given the needs of having to care for your child, but they may say that if age had been the motivator they would not have offered you that position. It is because these situations have all these factual issues, that consulting with an attorney would be wise. In any event, you should be given a minimum of 21 days to further negotiate and if you decide to do so to sign the severance agreement.

I hope this helps. If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

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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.

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