is there leverage ? (perhaps media publicity)

i was assured of a comparable position with the company that acquired my former employer of 13 years. i relied on those promises now to my detriment. I have chosen to leave and has asked for the severance package that was paid to other employees at my level, but was offered considerably less. i am aware of at will employment. Also, i have not been utilized and was told by the manager that my level of employee was not needed. i feel i have been treated unfairly since i am the only manager transferred from the former company in this circumstance. others have received severance or are employed in a comparable position. the company's organizational lists me as a manager of a staff of 4. i have not managed anyone and have been given very entry level tasks. is there leverage other than fairnes that i can use to negotiate a more acceptable package? the law doesn't seem to be on my side, hopefully, someone can help negotiate so that Right is on my side.

2 answers  |  asked Dec 6, 2001 10:08 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (2)

Outten & Golden LLP
Is there leverage?

Dear Ms. Cleare:

Typically, an experienced employment attorney can leverage a better severance package for you and in your case, the attorney can explore the possibility of a promissory estoppel or breach of contract claim, or a claim that you were treated differently for an unlawful reason (such as age, gender, race, religion, disability, etc).

Our firm has extensive experience with negotiating severance packages and evaluating discrimination claims and can offer services of this type on an hourly fee basis, or perhaps, a contingency fee. If you are interested in retaining our firm, please telephone us at 212-245-1000 and ask to speak to our intake personnel.

posted by Outten & Golden LLP  |  Dec 10, 2001 09:20 AM [EST]
David M. Lira
Is there Leverage?

In New York State, there is some limited caselaw which provides some protection to employees who rely upon an employer's representations to their detriment. It is very difficult to succed on these types of cases, and your rights under these legal theories are very easily lost. So, there is some leverage, depending on the specific facts of your case, but may be not very much.

Another piece of information: Sometimes in mass lay-offs, the employer relies on a detailed, written policy for determining what severance, if any, an employee is entitled to receive. Generally, employers have no duty to provide severance, but when they due pursuant to a written policy, that written policy may give rise to an ERISA plan. This is very important, in that, if there is an ERISA plan, you have a lot of rights you would otherwise not have.

In your case, if there was a written plan concerning severance, it may be very important to determining whether you have any leverage. If there was a written plan, you might want to do your best to get a copy of it.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Dec 6, 2001 1:27 PM [EST]

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