Can my husband get severance pay?

My husband was "laid off" 6 months ago from an employer that he had worked 32 years for. There had been a reduction in force through lay offs. Employees were laid off and jobs were re-assigned. Most of the laid off employees were the ones that had the highest hourly salaries. After 6 months of lay off, my husband recieved a certified letter stating that employment was terminated with the effective date. Is there any recourse? This is a non-union manufacturing position

1 answer  |  asked Sep 28, 2009 6:40 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (1)

John Otto
Unfortunately, in Illinois, without a collective bargaining agreement or other employment contract, the company has no legal obligation to pay severance pay, no matter how long your husband worked for them. The only obligation is that the company pay him for time worked plus any vacation, accrued but not taken. It is possible that your husband has an action for age discrimination, if the lay-offs were made on the basis of age. However, those kinds of cases are very difficult to prove unless there is some evidence that age was a motivating factor in selecting who was laid off. The fact that the ones with the highest hourly salaries also tended to be older employees is not enough unless your husband could prove that it was age, not economics that motivated who was laid off.

posted by John Otto  |  Sep 29, 2009 05:04 AM [EST]

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