Splitting hairs on the word

My current employeer of 21 years infomed me in March that I will be downsized as of July 1st and that I should look over the severance policy as I will be offered a severance should I fit the policy.

The contention is this, the policy states that I must be offered a job with similar skills and background.

I do very specialized work and have been lumped in with another group of titles for years because management has been unwilling to change our titles, they are aware of the discrepancy and have not done so in the past because it would have required a pay increase.
Now they are using the fact that I am titled a certain way against me in that saying because I am titled in a certain way, all employees who have this title do basicaly the same thing(which is far from true) and offered me a job doing something well below my skills and background, which I might add they just made up the job and I would be the first person they place in the position but it happens to have the same general title that I currently have.

Do I have a case against them even if I have several letters from a former manager and directors of labs saving the job offered is not the same in skills and background even though they are saying it is not?
Thxs much!!!

1 answer  |  asked Jun 14, 2008 12:06 AM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
You may have a claim for denial of benefits.

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, you may have a claim for denial of benefits. An employer can create definitions in its benefits plans that seem to defy common sense (such as stating that an 'employee' is not all employees but only those employees the employer cares to designate as an 'employee'). If the policy states that the job title controls whether you are being offered a similar job, then you may have no claim. But, in the likely case that there is no such statement, you may have a claim for denial of benefits under ERISA, and/or breach of contract or failure to pay wages and benefits due under state law.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Jun 16, 2008 10:21 AM [EST]

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