Severance Pay for Part Time employees

With the closing of our plant, we were told we would receive severance pay, one week for each year of service. I started my employment here full time. After the birth of my son, I accepted a part time position with another company. I was asked to stay here and could work part time. I accepted. Now that the plant is closing, I am considered part time, I am supposedly ineligble for the severance pay offered to others. Can this be done? Am I eligible for the severance pay for the 3 years I worked full time?

1 answer  |  asked Feb 7, 2002 10:07 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Richard Renner
Severance pay

Severance pay is normally a courtesy extended by an employer. Sometimes employers establish a formal policy, but even then, it is usually written with language saying the company can change or withdraw it at any time, with or without notice.

If you have a union contract, you can grieve the issue, perhaps to arbitration.

If you have a specific (generally written) contract of employment, you may be able to enforce that. If your contract does not specify either a term of years, or tenure, then the company was free to terminate it, without notice, and inform you that your job is eliminated.

If you think the management is discriminating or retaliating against you on grounds other than your part-time status (which is not a protected status), you may have a legal claim. For a good list of the protected statuses, get Job Rights & Survival Strategies from Workplace Fairness, 1-800-469-6374 ($23.45).

If you have time before the shut down, you may still have time to organize a union.

Also, feel free to shop around for an employment lawyer in your area. A local lawyer may know more about your particular company's policies or responsibilities.

Don't forget to apply for unemployment benefits.

Richard Renner
Dover, Ohio

posted by Richard Renner  |  Feb 8, 2002 11:13 AM [EST]

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