Can an employer discriminate in severance situation for being a great employee?

A voluntary severance opportunity has become available where I work, and once I heard it was coming I decided I wanted to apply for it. However, upon receiving the HR letter that was broadly distributed, one of the exceptions is that if you were a top rated employee last year, you are ineligible to apply which feels like reverse discrimination to me. I am curious to know if there is any recourse or help available in this situation? I definitely don't want to make waves as I have the utmost respect and appreciation for my employer. This is also why I was surprised and disappointed to see that they did not extend the same courtesy to this group of people. This has not been an exception in past situations, so I was in shock when I read it (to put it mildly). Personally, I feel like I should have the same opportunity as others to leave with the same benefit as I've worked extremely hard over several years. Thanks in advance.

1 answer  |  asked Jun 5, 2012 10:57 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Rubin
"Discrimination" in the employment context means you suffered an adverse job action BECAUSE you are a member in a protected class (race, age, disability, gender, religion, national origin).

Quite simple,the circumstances you describe is not discrimination. Being a "great employee" is not a protected class so your employer is not required to offer you a severance.

posted by Neil Rubin  |  Jun 5, 2012 5:18 PM [EST]

Answer This Question

Sign In to Answer this Question

Related Questions with Answers

Have an Employment Law question?

Virginia Employment Lawyers

Edward Lowry Edward Lowry
Charlottesville, VA
Sheri Abrams Sheri Abrams
Sheri R. Abrams PLLC
Oakton, VA
Matthew Sutter Matthew Sutter
Sutter & Terpak, PLLC
Annandale, VA
Matthew Kaplan Matthew Kaplan
The Kaplan Law Firm
Gerald Lutkenhaus Gerald Lutkenhaus
Virginia Workers Compensation & Disability Lawyer
Richmond, VA

more Virginia Employment Lawyers