termination with out severance from a mega-corp

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njay73
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termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by njay73 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:22 am

I took a 3-month unpaid leave of absence without job protection. Just before a week of the return date, I am told that I don't have the job and I am not eligible for severance, at no point when applying for LOA, I was clear that I will not be eligible for severance pay, in phone calls I was told I will be eligible. I am with them for a long time so it is more than 6 months of pay.
I have spoken to various authorities, HR, Emp relation, etc.but not getting any further clarification or details.

Any suggestions on how to deal with the company. How much time should I spend talking to them before seeking legal advice? has anyone been in this situation and been able to successfully negotiated back on severance etc.

any advice is highly appreciated.

jebmke
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by jebmke » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:30 am

Many large corporations have a written severance policy. Before doing anything I would look at that and see if there are any references to your situation in the policy.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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JoeRetire
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:33 am

You should speak with a lawyer now.

If you didn't get anything in writing before you took your leave and there isn't already a written policy in the employee handbook, you are most likely out of luck. But your lawyer will tell you for sure.
Don't be a lemming.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:19 pm

What was the reason MegaCorp gave to you for your termination? Perhaps some terminations are not eligible for severance.

Broken Man 1999
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8foot7
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by 8foot7 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:23 pm

Your first sentence is that your leave was without job protection. What exactly are you going to “negotiate” with your mega Corp? If they don’t give you severance you will...what, exactly? And on what grounds?

This seems to me to be a risky move to have made with non-FMLA leave. Three months is long enough that people need to figure out how to get things done and keep things moving without you. And then once they've figured out how to get things done without you, it's not a big leap to figuring they don't need you anymore, and when someone puts those two things together particularly in a cost-cutting mode, you're toast.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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whodidntante
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by whodidntante » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:35 pm

I would not promise an employee who took three months' leave severance pay. Who promised it to you? Were they in a position to negotiate that on behalf of the company?

I doubt this is worth a lawsuit. At most, it's worth paying an attorney for advice and to send a letter posturing for a lawsuit. Verbal contracts are a thing, but obviously hard to prove. And you burn your bridge which can make getting the next job more difficult. Depending on what you've done you may have already burned the bridge.

I don't see that you are in a position to demand anything. What are you offering in return for severance pay? Typically, it's something like you keep their secrets, return their property immediately, don't speak ill of the company, don't work for their mortal enemies, don't recruit former coworkers, etc. Do they need those assurances from you?

DVMResident
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by DVMResident » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:12 pm

I've seen mega-corp let go employees like you, OP, that did not receive severance. I've seen 2 of 4 sue. In those cases, both times my mega-corp settled for the typical severance amount. Both of those terminations were for cause-which was a bit baffling why we settled (and irked me to no end that it comes out my bonus pool for my current employees who carried the load a down a headcount).

So lawyer up if you want. It will be burning a bridge, but that's probably already done.
Last edited by DVMResident on Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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8foot7
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by 8foot7 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:14 pm

(Frankly, if they have fired you while you were on unpaid leave, bridge burning should not be a factor to consider. They've already lit the fire.)

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Kenkat
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by Kenkat » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:26 pm

Talk to an employment law attorney. Once your former employer understands that you are not just going to go away quietly, my guess is that a settlement gets worked out without a lawsuit.

tidelandp
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by tidelandp » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:58 pm

Some relevant questions that your attorney would likely pose: (1) Does company have a stated policy on leaves such as yours? A good place to start is with employee handbook. (2) What's been the company's practice on leaves such as yours? (3) Are you member of a protected class?
Last edited by tidelandp on Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Trader Joe
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by Trader Joe » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:24 pm

njay73 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:22 am
I took a 3-month unpaid leave of absence without job protection. Just before a week of the return date, I am told that I don't have the job and I am not eligible for severance, at no point when applying for LOA, I was clear that I will not be eligible for severance pay, in phone calls I was told I will be eligible. I am with them for a long time so it is more than 6 months of pay.
I have spoken to various authorities, HR, Emp relation, etc.but not getting any further clarification or details.

Any suggestions on how to deal with the company. How much time should I spend talking to them before seeking legal advice? has anyone been in this situation and been able to successfully negotiated back on severance etc.

any advice is highly appreciated.
I would spend my time looking for another job. I would also look for and read the employee handbook.

HomeStretch
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by HomeStretch » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:50 pm

If your company has a written policy or a practice of paying severance to employees after non-FMLA leave, then consider contacting an attorney to discuss the situation. But in the absence of that, I don’t see the incentive for a company to pay severance to an employee who was on a 3-month non-FMLA leave.

Best of luck with your job search.

MDfan
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by MDfan » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:53 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:26 pm
Talk to an employment law attorney. Once your former employer understands that you are not just going to go away quietly, my guess is that a settlement gets worked out without a lawsuit.
Why would the employer settle if they did nothing wrong? If he's an at-will employee, I'm not sure what the issue is. As others have said, the first step should be to look at the employee handbook or any severance policy.

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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:58 pm

I would recommend you consult with a plaintiff-side employment attorney to review any options you may have. Have all of your documents for him/her to review. Many states are "at will" and can terminate without cause, etc.

I wouldn't waste any more time with HR. Their bread is buttered by the mega corp. :shock:

I'm sorry this happened to you. These situations are very stressful. :|

Teague
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by Teague » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:08 pm

OP, was the 3 month absence voluntary and your idea, or was it forced upon you by the company?
Semper Augustus

tibbitts
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by tibbitts » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:17 pm

My guess is that if you can't get anywhere yourself you'll likely have to pay for an attorney and stand a high risk of losing everything you pay for those services. Weigh the amount you might gain vs. what you'd risk. Most attorneys would need to do some research to even determine if there would be any possibility for recovery, unless this is a wide-spread situtation affecting many people. Unlike some posters I don't think the megacorp would cave upon hearing you hired an attorney - the people denying your request don't have to pay those corporate attorneys personally.

scottgekko
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by scottgekko » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:19 pm

I have a couple questions:

1. Was the leave approved by the company and is there a formal leave request procedure? (non FMLA)
2. What was the reason for termination?

If the leave was approved, then you were terminated through no fault of your own, I'm not sure why severance wasn't offered.

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:31 pm

I would concentrate all my energy on looking for a job. Is there any company who has a severance policy written in an employee handbook? I have seen clauses on an immediate termination such as fighting, stealing, etc in an employee handbook of a mega corp. In such cases, all unvested stock options are also forfeited immediately. A company owes only what a departing employee already earned or is legally entitled to. I consider a severance practice as a goodwill or a hush money gesture by a company.

toofache32
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by toofache32 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:21 pm

Do you live in an "at will" state"?
How did you stop working for 3 months and still expect to have a job?
Was this an FMLA scenario? I assume not since you didn't mention it.
To me it sounds like you quit your job 3 months ago.
Last edited by toofache32 on Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Turbo29
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by Turbo29 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:23 pm

toofache32 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:21 pm
Do you live in an "at will" state"
Most people do. Doesn't mean that you can't sue them. Of course you might not win if it went to court but even the threat of suit might cause them to settle.

toofache32
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by toofache32 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:48 pm

Turbo29 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:23 pm
toofache32 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:21 pm
Do you live in an "at will" state"
Most people do. Doesn't mean that you can't sue them. Of course you might not win if it went to court but even the threat of suit might cause them to settle.
You can sue anyone anytime for anything. This is just the first question everyone asks to see if something stupid was done.

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Watty
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by Watty » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:00 pm

Do not mention that you are going to talk to a lawyer to your employer. Once you do that some companies will turn it over to their legal staff and only talk to your lawyer.

I agree that you need to talk to a lawyer not because I have any insight about your having a valid claim, but just so that you can know for sure what is going on and sleep well at night.

OnTrack
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by OnTrack » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:43 pm

If you talk to a lawyer, be sure before discussing anything that the law firm does not represent the megacorp or otherwise have a conflict of interest. Otherwise you are wasting your time and possibly revealing information to the other side.

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Kenkat
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by Kenkat » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:12 pm

MDfan wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:53 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:26 pm
Talk to an employment law attorney. Once your former employer understands that you are not just going to go away quietly, my guess is that a settlement gets worked out without a lawsuit.
Why would the employer settle if they did nothing wrong? If he's an at-will employee, I'm not sure what the issue is. As others have said, the first step should be to look at the employee handbook or any severance policy.
Is the company 100% certain they did nothing wrong? Would a judge or jury agree that they did nothing wrong? If it turns out that they did do something wrong, did they do this to other people and what are the repercussions of that? Laws are always subject to opinion - that is why we have courts and judges and juries. Companies settle all the time to limit risk; sometimes it’s a game of chicken to see if the employee is willing to take action to challenge the decision.

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JoeRetire
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by JoeRetire » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:32 pm

OnTrack wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:43 pm
If you talk to a lawyer, be sure before discussing anything that the law firm does not represent the megacorp or otherwise have a conflict of interest. Otherwise you are wasting your time and possibly revealing information to the other side.
The lawyer would be require to disclose that fact before you revealed anything.
Don't be a lemming.

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njay73
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by njay73 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:35 pm

thanks for your repose, appreciate it. As some of you suggested my main focus is suitable employment. I will also re-read through the company manual and vet my options for further action.

OnTrack
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by OnTrack » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:05 pm

JoeRetire wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:32 pm
OnTrack wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:43 pm
If you talk to a lawyer, be sure before discussing anything that the law firm does not represent the megacorp or otherwise have a conflict of interest. Otherwise you are wasting your time and possibly revealing information to the other side.
The lawyer would be require to disclose that fact before you revealed anything.
Not in my experience. A long time ago, I called an employment law firm, explained the situation which included far more information than what I would want the employer to know and after providing that information, the lawyer said he could not take the case because his firm represented the employer. I think to be safe, verify upfront before saying anything else that there is no conflict of interest.

In another instance, in a real estate matter, I explained the situation over the phone, scheduled an appointment, explained the situation in even more detail in the lawyer's office at which point the lawyer disclosed that he had represented the other party and that I would need to find another lawyer.

toofache32
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by toofache32 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:38 pm

OnTrack wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:05 pm
JoeRetire wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:32 pm
OnTrack wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:43 pm
If you talk to a lawyer, be sure before discussing anything that the law firm does not represent the megacorp or otherwise have a conflict of interest. Otherwise you are wasting your time and possibly revealing information to the other side.
The lawyer would be require to disclose that fact before you revealed anything.
Not in my experience. A long time ago, I called an employment law firm, explained the situation which included far more information than what I would want the employer to know and after providing that information, the lawyer said he could not take the case because his firm represented the employer. I think to be safe, verify upfront before saying anything else that there is no conflict of interest.

In another instance, in a real estate matter, I explained the situation over the phone, scheduled an appointment, explained the situation in even more detail in the lawyer's office at which point the lawyer disclosed that he had represented the other party and that I would need to find another lawyer.
I was thinking the same thing. This is an ethical issue. And we're talking about lawyers. Too bad the 99% ruin it for the 1%.

delamer
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by delamer » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:55 pm

njay73 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:35 pm
thanks for your repose, appreciate it. As some of you suggested my main focus is suitable employment. I will also re-read through the company manual and vet my options for further action.
Do you have any documentation approving the 3 month LOA?

Were you still considered an employee for purposes of health insurance coverage, leave accumulation, pension vesting, etc.? That might be relevant regarding any company policy for severance.

toofache32
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by toofache32 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:14 pm

njay73 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:22 am
I took a 3-month unpaid leave of absence without job protection. Just before a week of the return date, I am told that I don't have the job and I am not eligible for severance,
What about your situation qualifies this as a "leave of absence?" Sounds like you quit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leave_of_absence

phxjcc
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by phxjcc » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:25 am

This might be perceived as cruel, but here goes....

What did you expect your employer to do for 3 months?
They make green widgets, that are a combo of blue widgets and yellow widgets.
You made the yellow widgets.
You took an LOA.
They went out and found someone to make yellow widgets, or one of the blue widget makers switched jobs to make the yellow ones.
Now, you say that you are ready to come back and make yellow widgets again.
They don't need your skills, because someone else has been doing your job.

This is the market's harsh reality; you took yourself out of the market and were replaced.

It's not right nor wrong, it just IS.

The wolf that decides to stop hunting will starve.

You have learned a valuable lesson, move on.

Unless you are Michael Jordan or Bo Jackson, you should not expect to take time off and then return.
And they were only welcomed back because they put butts in seats and sold air time on commercial TV.

orangeandwhite
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by orangeandwhite » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:30 am

njay73 wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:22 am
any advice is highly appreciated.
First of all, it sounds like you are eligible for unemployment benefits, as you were laid off from your job. You should file an application with your state labor department. Depending on your state, you may also be eligible for subsidized health insurance (cheaper than COBRA) by virtue of collecting unemployment benefits.

Second, you should ask to see the employer’s written “severance plan” or “severance summary plan description.” There is caselaw for the proposition that employer programs to pay severance to employees is an employee benefit plan in the same gamut as health insurance and so on, and therefore covered by ERISA rules. If they have a written policy or plan, they generally have to follow it consistently, and you can enforce it. Employers cannot (and generally do not want to) deploy severance on a totally seat of the pants basis.

Third, I’d ignore any moralizing saying you constructively quit your job or brought this on yourself. That is incorrect advice and to be honest a bit sad to read. They didn’t have to approve your leave, but they did; that was their choice. They wrote the rule book. Also, there is no such thing in the real world as “job protection.” You had a job, worked within your employer’s rules in good faith, and were let go. Proceed accordingly.

Fourth, go out there and get a job. While everyone has their own experience, in general the labor market is fantastic right now. You’re almost certainly a hot commodity!

gips
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by gips » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:08 am

I was a owner of a company. We were sued by an employee that was fired for cause. The cause was well-documented, the employee knew they were underperforming and was going to be fired.

The employee hired a lawyer, sued and the lawyer for our insurance company negotiated a settlement. We were astounded, but our lawyer said it was just a simple calculation of the cost of his (and his staff’s) time. The employee ended up with 6 months severance.

So based on that experience, I believe you can sue and win a settlement (moral issues aside).

MDfan
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by MDfan » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:36 am

Kenkat wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:12 pm
MDfan wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:53 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:26 pm
Talk to an employment law attorney. Once your former employer understands that you are not just going to go away quietly, my guess is that a settlement gets worked out without a lawsuit.
Why would the employer settle if they did nothing wrong? If he's an at-will employee, I'm not sure what the issue is. As others have said, the first step should be to look at the employee handbook or any severance policy.
Is the company 100% certain they did nothing wrong? Would a judge or jury agree that they did nothing wrong? If it turns out that they did do something wrong, did they do this to other people and what are the repercussions of that? Laws are always subject to opinion - that is why we have courts and judges and juries. Companies settle all the time to limit risk; sometimes it’s a game of chicken to see if the employee is willing to take action to challenge the decision.

True. But unless there's an employment contract or some discriminatory motivation, there's not a lot to be done. He can try to negotiate some sort of severance, I guess. A lot of missing info here which makes it hard to give any advice.
Last edited by MDfan on Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

mptfan
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by mptfan » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:41 am

MDfan wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:53 pm
Why would the employer settle if they did nothing wrong?
1) Reasonable people may disagree about whether the employer did something wrong. And who decides that? Hint...it's not you, or the employee, or the employer.

2) Lawsuits are time consuming and expensive with an uncertain outcome so the employer has an incentive to pay some money now to avoid paying the expenses associated with the lawsuit and to avoid the uncertain outcome.

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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by rantk81 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:48 am

toofache32 wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:38 pm
I was thinking the same thing. This is an ethical issue. And we're talking about lawyers. Too bad the 99% ruin it for the 1%.
:D :D :D

MDfan
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by MDfan » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:51 am

mptfan wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:41 am
MDfan wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:53 pm
Why would the employer settle if they did nothing wrong?
1) Reasonable people may disagree about whether the employer did something wrong. And who decides that? Hint...it's not you, or the employee, or the employer.

2) Lawsuits are time consuming and expensive with an uncertain outcome so the employer has an incentive to pay some money now to avoid paying the expenses associated with the lawsuit and to avoid the uncertain outcome.
Of course that's true. Which is why I said there are a lot of missing information here.

togb
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by togb » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:09 pm

There are quite a few bits of information missing, but you did say it was an unpaid leave without job protection, for three months. I'm assuming you applied for a leave and someone approved it, and that there was paperwork involved. Read that paperwork, because it probably states that your job is not protected in your absence. Read it carefully, because it would be a shame to spend time/money fighting this if your leave paperwork lays out the company's case.

I've never seen severance granted to someone who takes an unprotected leave and is either replaced, or in their absence the organization finds issues/another way to get the work done. Severance is typically paid when someone's job is eliminated and there is not a suitable alternative position for them. Leaves for certain reasons are protected-- and sometimes even paid. But you had an unpaid leave for undisclosed reasons-- that was not protected.

You could retain legal counsel. If your companies policies are like most, you don't have a case, but you "might" get them to settle if it's cheaper than defending themselves. You'd have to think about whether that sets well with you ethically.

I tend to agree with others who suggest you move on, but that's in the absence of familiarity with the leave paperwork you have.

orangeandwhite
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by orangeandwhite » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:58 pm

togb wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:09 pm
Read that paperwork, because it probably states that your job is not protected in your absence.
I don’t know what this term “protected” means. There is no real “protection” in the world of at-will employment.

The story is pretty simple... he was an employee before, and now he is not an employee, and, as told, it wasn’t because he voluntarily quit, abandoned his job (by going AWOL), or committed misconduct.

One possibility here is that they hired someone new while he was on this leave and then laid this guy off upon his return for lack of work. That’s arguably a straight-up lay-off and one for which the company’s standard severance policy may come into play.

Could get an employment lawyer, but it might be easier for him to just send the HR rep a polite note stating that he thinks he’s entitled to benefits under the severance plan and to please send along, pursuant to ERISA, the plan summary and a claim form. Shake the tree and see what falls out.

togb
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by togb » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:13 pm

orangeandwhite wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:58 pm
togb wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:09 pm
Read that paperwork, because it probably states that your job is not protected in your absence.
I don’t know what this term “protected” means. There is no real “protection” in the world of at-will employment.
Some absences are protected-- your job or another like it will be available when you return. Sometimes this protection is by federal law (FLMA) and sometimes it's the company's policy-- say someone who is on salary continuation. In those cases, the leave/absence is approved, and there are limitations on the duration and extent of absence.

Personal leaves, whether the reasons are disclosed or not, may be approved but do not often involve an agreement that your job or an equivalent job will be held open for your return. And there is no obligation to inform the absent person of developments that impact that situation. Ie a month in, they realize they can't have the role open so they start recruiting.... they don't update the person on leave until the replacement is hired. Or they realize they don't actually need a full time person in the position, and they are required to cut headcount by X by year end. Well, the first thing that happens is the open positions cancelled and will not be filled.

There is risk involved in stepping away from your job for an extended period, particularly when it's discretionary. That's a time when they find out if they need you or not. If they don't need you, they may not want you back. If they are hurting due to your absence they may have no choice but to replace you. Every situation is different (based on 25+ years of approving or denying leaves) but an unprotected leave is obviously risky for the employee.

orangeandwhite
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by orangeandwhite » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:01 pm

togb wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:13 pm

Some absences are protected-- your job or another like it will be available when you return. Sometimes this protection is by federal law (FLMA) and sometimes it's the company's policy-- say someone who is on salary continuation. In those cases, the leave/absence is approved, and there are limitations on the duration and extent of absence.
FMLA protections aren’t quite that strong. An employer can still terminate an employee for lack of work or a reorganization while someone is on leave. If you’re on FMLA leave as a widgetmaker and the widget line gets outsourced to China, so it goes.

We never did hear why the leave was taken to begin with. I suppose worth noting that many common reasons for taking unusual blocks of time off may be “protected.” Just as an example, if it was to address mental or physical health issues, it may be unlawful to discriminate against an employee on that basis. The leave doesn’t need to have been documented as a “FMLA leave” for that to be true.

rj342
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by rj342 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:10 pm

I believe no one has mentioned the OTHER big question, forgetting severance for the moment...

Are you eligible for unemployment compensation in your state given the circumstances?!?

Seems to me the answer is not obviously Yes. Your HR should be able to tell you -- or the state, or that lawyer.

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:02 pm

rj342 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:10 pm
I believe no one has mentioned the OTHER big question, forgetting severance for the moment...

Are you eligible for unemployment compensation in your state given the circumstances?!?

Seems to me the answer is not obviously Yes. Your HR should be able to tell you -- or the state, or that lawyer.
Did you officially quit voluntarily or were you terminated for a cause? Apparently not. Why do you raise this issue?
Last edited by MathIsMyWayr on Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

orangeandwhite
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by orangeandwhite » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:59 am

rj342 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:10 pm
I believe no one has mentioned the OTHER big question, forgetting severance for the moment...

Are you eligible for unemployment compensation in your state given the circumstances?!?

Seems to me the answer is not obviously Yes. Your HR should be able to tell you -- or the state, or that lawyer.
Asking HR at your former employer whether you are eligible for unemployment is *terrible* advice. Everyone reading should be very clear that this suggestion is *inappropriate*. If advice is needed, it should come from the unemployment office.

If the facts are as stated - that he didn’t voluntarily quit and didn’t commit gross misconduct (like fighting or stealing, or refusing to show up for work), the answer is that he most likely is eligible. Getting canned for being a generally undesirable or fussy employee is not disqualifying.

Is there some reason you raise this concern?

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FlyAF
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by FlyAF » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:12 am

My company would fire me too if I took a quarter off. How is this a surprise?

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RickBoglehead
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:20 am

rj342 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:10 pm
I believe no one has mentioned the OTHER big question, forgetting severance for the moment...

Are you eligible for unemployment compensation in your state given the circumstances?!?

Seems to me the answer is not obviously Yes. Your HR should be able to tell you -- or the state, or that lawyer.
OP should file immediately if he has not already.

Many years ago, I worked for a company out of state, and the plan was I would relocate to that state eventually. Ultimately, I decided that the company was not a fit, so when the time came I told them that I would not be relocating for the position, and that they should seek my replacement, and that I would work diligently until then as well as conduct a smooth transition.

That all happened. I left, and filed for unemployment. The head of HR contested the unemployment, and a decision was made by the state to give me the unemployment. The head of HR appealed that decision (he was not a nice person), and that appeal was decided against me, 2 to 1. However, by then I had received over 90% of the total unemployment payout, so it didn't really matter.

ALWAYS FILE.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

EddyB
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by EddyB » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:59 am

FlyAF wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:12 am
My company would fire me too if I took a quarter off. How is this a surprise?
OK, but from the bolded text in the original post, I take the question to be about the severance, not the fact of being fired. Combine that with the statement that the topic apparently came up before the LOA, and “in phone calls [the OP] was told [he/she] will be eligible,” and the OP seems to have some basis for surprise, regardless of whether there’s ultimately a right to that severance.

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FlyAF
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by FlyAF » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:34 am

EddyB wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:59 am
FlyAF wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:12 am
My company would fire me too if I took a quarter off. How is this a surprise?
OK, but from the bolded text in the original post, I take the question to be about the severance, not the fact of being fired. Combine that with the statement that the topic apparently came up before the LOA, and “in phone calls [the OP] was told [he/she] will be eligible,” and the OP seems to have some basis for surprise, regardless of whether there’s ultimately a right to that severance.
OK. [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] That said, why would someone who quit a job (essentially what OP did) be eligible for a severance?

OP: I would like a 3 month LOA
Employer: OK, but you're not guaranteed your job back or any sort of severance should it not be here when you return.
OP: OK, I'll take that deal.
Employer 2 months and 3 weeks later: Your job is no longer available and you're no longer an employee.
OP: I would like 6 months of severance please.

How does that make any sense? And wouldn't all of this be in writing?

EddyB
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by EddyB » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:55 am

FlyAF wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:34 am
EddyB wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:59 am
FlyAF wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:12 am
My company would fire me too if I took a quarter off. How is this a surprise?
OK, but from the bolded text in the original post, I take the question to be about the severance, not the fact of being fired. Combine that with the statement that the topic apparently came up before the LOA, and “in phone calls [the OP] was told [he/she] will be eligible,” and the OP seems to have some basis for surprise, regardless of whether there’s ultimately a right to that severance.
OK. [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] That said, why would someone who quit a job (essentially what OP did) be eligible for a severance?

OP: I would like a 3 month LOA
Employer: OK, but you're not guaranteed your job back or any sort of severance should it not be here when you return.
OP: OK, I'll take that deal.
Employer 2 months and 3 weeks later: Your job is no longer available and you're no longer an employee.
OP: I would like 6 months of severance please.

How does that make any sense? And wouldn't all of this be in writing?
Who knows what actually happened, but your hypothetical exchange at least seems to conflict with the OP's account ("I was told I will be eligible"), although I grant that the grammar makes it hard to follow. That's the piece that makes it seem like the OP has some real complaint.

I also don't know that a "leave of absence" is the same as or tantamount to quitting, although we may have different expectations for what "leave of absence" means and implies---I took one relatively early in my career, but it was shorter than the OP's and was clear all around that it wasn't a delayed resignation. I also generally kept my benefits (including my employer medical insurance) during the leave, so it didn't feel like my employer was treating it as if I'd quit, either.

But, for sure, OP must wish there was a written agreement to point to rather than a recollection of a phone call.

orangeandwhite
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Re: termination with out severance from a mega-corp

Post by orangeandwhite » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:00 pm

FlyAF wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:34 am

OP: I would like a 3 month LOA
Employer: OK, but you're not guaranteed your job back or any sort of severance should it not be here when you return.
OP: OK, I'll take that deal.
Employer 2 months and 3 weeks later: Your job is no longer available and you're no longer an employee.
OP: I would like 6 months of severance please.

How does that make any sense? And wouldn't all of this be in writing?
As in most things, this personnel stuff does not need to make any sense.

The exposure for the employer is twofold - 1) whether they have a standing severance policy that they are required by ERISA to implement consistently and that captures this scenario; 2) whether that decision to terminate made 7 days before the guy came back to work was made with an improper discriminatory rationale (for example, the employee took the time off because they wanted to recover from mental illness protected by the ADA).

It would be nice for the employer if they had this stuff in writing, as it would help defend risk number 2. Based on the OP story, it sounds like the HR person was a bit over their skis, most especially demonstrated by the fact that they approved this leave to begin with.

For what it’s worth, as a youth, I took a leave from a job to finish some graduate work, and my job got eliminated while I was in school. They sent me my severance by fedex.

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