Breach of Severance Agreement

My employer terminated my employment without cause 90 days after I started work. The two-year contract clearly precluded termination except for specified causes (mostly violations of law)for at least a year. Ultimately, we settled for the full year of pay and benefits. A severance agreement was written and signed which included the company's commitment to keep my health and other insurance benefits in full force. Many weeks later, I discovered the employer had actually terminated all my benefits, even while continuing to deduct the premiums from my continuing checks. I said if they were not immediately reinstated, I would arrange for my own, individual coverage for which I expected the company to pay, including retroactively the lapse period. When I got no immediate assurance, I sent the company a demand for the cost of the individual policy, saying I could obviously not depend upon them to provide it without lapse. The company then claimed it was "a mistake" and promised to get it reinstated soon. I say I'm entitled to ALL the cost of my individual insurance back to the actual date that they wrongfully terminated it in violation of the severance contract. Is there a Florida statute or principle of law that backs me up?

2 answers  |  asked Nov 29, 2012 09:50 AM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (2)

Arthur Schofield
In order for this question to be answered, the contract itself will have to be reviewed. You can contact my office and we'd be happy to look it over for you.

posted by Arthur Schofield  |  Nov 29, 2012 10:25 AM [EST]
Phyllis Towzey
You have a breach of contract action against your former employer for violating the severance agreement. Your damages are: (1) any out of pocket medical expenses you paid during the time you were uninsured that otherwise would have been covered under the employer's group policy; (2) the cost, if any, that you actually paid to get your own insurance policy during the gap period; and (3) If there is a prevailing party attorney's fee provision in the severance agreement, then you would be entitled to recover your attorney's fees - if not, you can only recover your court costs. You can sue in small claims court yourself unless your damages exceed the jurisdictional limit. Or, you can have a lawyer represent you, which makes more sense if there's a prevailing party attorney's fee provision. You are not, however, entitled to recover the premiums that weren't paid simply because they weren't paid.

posted by Phyllis Towzey  |  Nov 29, 2012 10:00 AM [EST]

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