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  1. #1

    Default Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: NJ

    My company has been executing consistent RIFs (reductions in force) in small chunks for the past several years. Job functions have been largely offshored and many individuals in my department have already been let go.

    I expect that my time is coming shortly. My question is, has anyone had any particular experience and/or success in negotiating against a "standard" severance package that is offered by a company?

    My situation is that I am a male, approximately 50 years old, approximately 20 years employed by the company. My performance reviews have been consistently good, and I have always been ranked among the top in my position during evaluations.

    I've been told that the company offers a package of 2 weeks pay per year served + unused vacation pay + pro-rated bonus and some job placement services, either as a lump sum or continuing pay until exhausted, in exchange for waiver of whatever rights one may have.

    Given my age and the current job environment, I'm hopeful that there is some proven strategy to negotiate something better.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    Quote Quoting Novice
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    My question is, has anyone had any particular experience and/or success in negotiating against a "standard" severance package that is offered by a company?
    There is no such thing. You negotiate whatever you can negotiate. Please bear in mind that it is unlikely that your employer is legally required to offer you any severance.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    What leverage do you think you have to negotiate a better than standard severance package?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    I don't know whether or not my situation falls under the realm of any discrimination laws. I am over 40, qualified and highly rated at my job, however, the company has brought in a large number of consultants, who have taken over the work of both the people who have previously been let go, and largely the work of those that still remain.

    I do feel that having been a high performing and long term employee, having never been reprimanded or encountered any similar issue, and with a great deal of knowledge of my own job functions as well as overall operations, I may have some means to negotiate something better.

    I'm just wondering if others have had success with this, or if I would be chasing something futile. I understand that there is no requirement for the company to offer severance in the first place.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    Nothing that you have posted so far suggests any kind of illegal discrimination. Being over 40 only means you can't be let go BECAUSE you are over 40; it doesn't mean you can't be let go at all.

    You said that many people are being let go. Are they ALL over 40, or are they of all ages?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    I can't say for certain that ALL people being let go from my department are over 40, but definitely a large percentage.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    Your post doesn't appear to raise any legal issue.

    Quote Quoting Novice
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    has anyone had any particular experience and/or success in negotiating against a "standard" severance package that is offered by a company?
    Yes, although I doubt this is what you actually intended to ask. Keep in mind that an at-will employee will have little or no leverage to negotiate something like this.


    Quote Quoting Novice
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    I don't know whether or not my situation falls under the realm of any discrimination laws. I am over 40. . . .
    I'm not sure what it might mean for a "situation [to] fall[] under the realm of [a] discrimination law," and your post doesn't indicate that any discrimination (much less illegal discrimination) has occurred, is occurring or might occur in the future. If you are fired because you are over 40, you might have a valid claim, but being over 40 doesn't mean you automatically have a valid claim, and your statement that your employer " has been executing consistent RIFs (reductions in force) in small chunks for the past several years" seems to indicate that you possibly getting fired in the future won't have anything to do with your age.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    And what I think I'm reading between the lines is, if there's any kind of discrimination going on I can use that as leverage to get a better severance package.

    That's called extortion, my friend.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    And what I think I'm reading between the lines is, if there's any kind of discrimination going on I can use that as leverage to get a better severance package.

    That's called extortion, my friend.
    I disagree. Extortion is defined by section 2C:20-5 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, and the waiving of a civil claim in exchange for the payment of money is, in no way, extortion. If that were the case, then the settlement of any civil lawsuit would constitute extortion.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Negotiating a Severance Agreement

    I won't report illegal discrimination if you give me a better severance package isn't extortion?

    Okay, you're the attorney.

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