What constitutes a comparable offer of employment?

I am in a dispute with a former employer over severance. My employment contract required this employer to pay severance in the event the company was sold, and I was offered and accepted a non-comparable offer of employment by the buyer. The company was sold and the acquiring company offered and I accepted a position with total compensation 13% lower than with my previous employer. In addition, the new company required relocation to a substantially higher cost of living location. They paid the cost of the relocation. My written demand for payment has been denied and, per the employment contract, commercial arbitration is the only remedy. The basis of the denial by my former employer is a claim that the offer of employment was comparable. What constitutes a "comparable Offer"?

1 answer  |  asked Jun 3, 2006 10:07 PM [EST]  |  applies to Colorado

Answers (1)

Nina Kazazian
Severance Payment

What constitutes a "comparable offer" is a fact-specific question. I recommend you consult with an attorney for a review of the terms of the severance offer, and a comparison of the new job vs. the old job to evaluate the strength of your claim for severance, and to evaluate whether you have other legal claims arising out of this situation.

In addition, if you have already made a demand for payment, you may have a claim under the Colorado Wage Act. Such a claim could provide for attorneys' fees and costs, plus a penalty amount, to be paid by the employer if you prevail.

If the arbitration provision is valid, this may be the avenue you will have to pursue to enforce your claims. You should definitely retain a lawyer to represent you in this process.

Because your claims may be barred if they are not brought within certain time periods, I recommend you contact an attorney to set up a consultation as soon as possible.

Please feel free to contact my office if you would like to set up a consultation. Our telephone number is (303) 888-1100. Please note that we would first need the name of the employer(s) to do a conflict check (verify that we do not represent the employer at issue here). We also require an in-person meeting and a written fee agreement before taking on new clients.

posted by Nina Kazazian  |  Jun 4, 2006 1:16 PM [EST]

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