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Do companies give severance anymore?
Old 03-22-2017, 05:07 PM   #1
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Do companies give severance anymore?

Looks like my 64 year old DH is being pushed out after 13 years. Company has about 7000 employees and they started about a year ago with the high-paying hotshots and has now worked down to him-mid level management.

Funny he just got a 5-figure bonus in January because he was doing so great and now he "can't do anything right."

We had "planned" for him to work another two years, we can do ok but its crummy when things don't go as planned.

I know it is not required but since all the other people that were pushed out were 55+ I wonder if they might offer him a severance.

Has anyone received one under similar circumstances and how many weeks?
Thanks.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:17 PM   #2
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now he "can't do anything right."
Ugh. I hope I'm wrong but that sounds like they're trying to build up an excuse for termination with cause so as to not to cover his unemployment. Obviously in that case you can be sure they're not planning on offering a good amount of severance if any.

I hope I'm wrong. Best of luck.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:26 PM   #3
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Our MegaCorp overreacted in 2008 to economic times, and decided they'd "retire" everyone 55 years of age with 30 years service. I received full pay for a year, 5 weeks vacation (even though I'd already taken 5 weeks vacation) and a pay supplement until age 62. I started a defined pension at age 58 1/2 which was dimiinished somewhat because of the life expectancy table. And I received 50 weeks' unemployment. I never made so much money.

Yes, big companies offer severance pay, and the terms are usually noted in employee handbooks--according to the time on the job. Too bad your husband only has 13 years with them, however.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:31 PM   #4
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My MC offered a standard published severance, info was readily available via HR internal website, and I kept a fresh download every 6 months, a "watchful eye". but no major changes in policy even during 2009 or since.

Amount usually dependent on tenure and band/rank. I had over 25 years, got the maximum 60 weeks, plus accrued bonus since I was let go mid-year. And my MC kept me on full benefits for the duration.

Since I was ready to FIRE anyway, when I got wind that a round of RIFs were coming, I talked myself into the best scenario I could have imagined.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:15 PM   #5
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My MegaCorp offered "enhanced retirement" to eligible employees, and the offer this time was too good for me to refuse. A year's salary, annual bonus, and two years full medical, dental and vision coverage. I jumped as did a lot of others.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:26 PM   #6
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Yes, many companies offer severance. I would ask and start with the polite route. However, if the majority of people being asked to leave (fired) are over 55, there might come a time when you may want to discuss this with a lawyer. My guess is that with the right tone in a letter, some type of severance (settlement) could be obtained.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:35 PM   #7
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Each company has different severance policies, so you really can't estimate by looking at different experiences. My company in 2010 closed the facility I worked at and pretty much everyone got some kind of severance. However, they changed the severance that year so my severance was half what it would have been a few months earlier.

If they go for termination with cause.. then typically no severance.

Don't assume all companies pay severance. Can you check company policy?

Both of us had several separations starting with the 2000 tech bubble bust. Sometimes you wondered if it was personal, but most of the time it was just they needed to cut.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:38 PM   #8
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I cannot believe that you do not know if there is severance or not...

Also, if he is being pushed out he could ask others who are also being pushed out... it is not like anybody on this board knows your DH or his company...

Most big companies do offer it... I do not know if 7,000 is at a level where you can say for sure it does...
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:49 PM   #9
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12 months pay, plus target bonus is a fair start. Also ask for accelerated vesting of stock options and RSU's. ( that would be a "goodbye kiss"). Finally make sure any pension or SERP will still be paid per any documented plan if applicable.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:35 PM   #10
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Not a whole lot, but pretty typical. I got a lump sum, 1 week pay for 1 year work. I had ten years, so that was a nice chunk on top of unemployment for 26 weeks.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:04 PM   #11
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Not a whole lot, but pretty typical. I got a lump sum, 1 week pay for 1 year work. I had ten years, so that was a nice chunk on top of unemployment for 26 weeks.
DW got something like this, but what they did was top up the Unemployment for the 26 weeks.

I never got a penny from anyone.... so it varies a lot, and even in the same company it varies a lot over time, usually gets worse with time...
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:18 AM   #12
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Yes, if the company is not in dire financial straits i would expect severance. I would expect they will want him to sign a release and any severance beyond what he is legally entitled to would be the consideration.

Every place I hve worked we paid severance, so I would say it is pretty usual in my experience, but amounts vary dramatically.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:22 AM   #13
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I was severed as part of a workforce reduction. In April I will be getting 24 weeks of pay (3wks per year) plus $9,000 for benefits/transitional costs.
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Old 03-23-2017, 03:42 AM   #14
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I received small severance packages twice, one was 6 months pay, one was 2.5 months pay. I had 12 years and 3 years with the companies respectively. In both cases, the facility I worked at was being closed and I was offered the choice of severance or moving. I picked severance both times. In neither case was I unemployed long enough to get the first unemployment check and started at slightly better wage than I left. Both times, they did me a favor by paying me to go. I realize that isn't true very often, but sometimes you don't realize what opportunities are out there until you are forced to look.

1 1/2 years ago, there was a voluntary severance offer where I work now to RIF employee numbers. The offer was pretty generous - 1 month per year for the 1st 6 years and 2 weeks per year after, up to 16 months pay total. I didn't put in because I only had 6 years at the time and I'd like another 3 years worked for retirement. If the same offer came next year, I would probably take it and run.

Good luck, maybe it isn't all bad from the sounds of your situation.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:25 AM   #15
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Last time I was laid off, I got 2 weeks of pay. The time before that, I think I got the equivalent of a month's pay. Benefits only continued to the end of that month.
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:01 AM   #16
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A large company with 7000 employees will be smart enough to know that, regardless of current performance (real or perceived) terminating a long term employee at age 64 is risky. He's considered a protected class.

I'll bet they offer a decent severance in exchange for signing a paper saying he won't file an age discrimination suit. For 13 years, I'd guess six months severance and may throw in HC for that period as well.

If not, just a hint would do the trick..."Well, in talking to my lawyer, he thinks...."
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:28 AM   #17
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That used to be a great advantage for older workers, but in recent years many larger companies have gotten bolder and bolder in that regard. Five years ago, my spouse was terminated without cause as the sixth of nine over-40 (and mostly over-50) year old employees out of a total of ten terminations, from one of the largest software development companies in the nation. During the period during which those ten employees were let go, the company was still adding new employees, almost exclusively under the age of 30. One of my spouse's colleagues inquired with a lawyer about the chances of success of an age-discrimination suit and was told that in no uncertain terms there was no chance of success.

One of the things that raised the bar for age discrimination lawsuits was a 2009 Supreme Court case, Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. [Citation: 129 S.Ct. 2343 (2009).] Prior to Gross v. FBL, it was generally accepted that employees still had a legitimate claim if they were subjected to adverse employment action because of a combination of "permissible and impermissible considerations," i.e., cases where the company had "mixed-motives" for the employment action, such as age along with salary and job responsibilities. Gross v. FBL changed that dynamic, establishing a new threshold that employees had a legitimate claim only if they were subjected to adverse employment action because of exclusively impermissible considerations.

That 5-4 decision, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, effectively scuttled age discrimination protections in employment, except in the most overt and blatant cases.

In my spouse's situation, it was obvious that the intention by the employer was to replace more expensive employees with less expensive employees. As such, it was at "best" a "mixed-motives" situation, and therefore not actionable.
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:52 AM   #18
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That used to be a great advantage for older workers, but in recent years many larger companies have gotten bolder and bolder in that regard. Five years ago, my spouse was terminated without cause as the sixth of nine over-40 (and mostly over-50) year old employees out of a total of ten terminations, from one of the largest software development companies in the nation. During the period during which those ten employees were let go, the company was still adding new employees, almost exclusively under the age of 30. One of my spouse's colleagues inquired with a lawyer about the chances of success of an age-discrimination suit and was told that in no uncertain terms there was no chance of success.

One of the things that raised the bar for age discrimination lawsuits was a 2009 Supreme Court case, Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. [Citation: 129 S.Ct. 2343 (2009).] Prior to Gross v. FBL, it was generally accepted that employees still had a legitimate claim if they were subjected to adverse employment action because of a combination of "permissible and impermissible considerations," i.e., cases where the company had "mixed-motives" for the employment action, such as age along with salary and job responsibilities. Gross v. FBL changed that dynamic, establishing a new threshold that employees had a legitimate claim only if they were subjected to adverse employment action because of exclusively impermissible considerations.

That 5-4 decision, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, effectively scuttled age discrimination protections in employment, except in the most overt and blatant cases.

In my spouse's situation, it was obvious that the intention by the employer was to replace more expensive employees with less expensive employees. As such, it was at "best" a "mixed-motives" situation, and therefore not actionable.
This is true. However, depending on the circumstances, it might be wise to consult with an employment attorney, who practices in the county where you were employed. You might even find one who has interacted with your employer on age-discrimination cases already. There are many variables in these cases- some counties are more employee-friendly, so the risk of an adverse decision against the employer could be greater. In gathering evidence, your attorney may subpoena internal records, and find incriminating evidence. This happened when my former megacorp's (naive) management exchanged smoking-gun emails before they fired an older coworker. They settled out of court, for an undisclosed sum. A few weeks later he bought a very expensive vehicle. Anyway, it might be worth your time to talk with an attorney, to get an opinion for your case. You don't have to go through with a lawsuit- just the involvement of an attorney could increase your severance deal. It's really unfair- megacorps with their armies of attorneys, against a single employee, usually with no experience in these matters. Advice from the internet might cost you significant money.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:04 AM   #19
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This is true. However, depending on the circumstances, it might be wise to consult with an employment attorney, who practices in the county where you were employed. You might even find one who has interacted with your employer on age-discrimination cases already. There are many variables in these cases- some counties are more employee-friendly, so the risk of an adverse decision against the employer could be greater. In gathering evidence, your attorney may subpoena internal records, and find incriminating evidence. This happened when my former megacorp's (naive) management exchanged smoking-gun emails before they fired an older coworker.
Right. This is where my "...In talking to my lawyer, he thinks..." comment comes in. Sometimes just the threat of a messy legal action is enough for them to pay up.

Six months salary is much cheaper/easier/cleaner than going through a legal battle. A company with 7000 employees should make that calculation pretty quickly.

My best friend went through this just last year. They made a few counter offers but ended up in court; he ended up with 2 years pay and benefits.

In my BIL's case, (after 20 years, his performance was suddenly sub-par at age 60) he just said "Do I have to talk to my lawyer about this?!" and all the dogs were called off.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:40 AM   #20
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In my BIL's case, (after 20 years, his performance was suddenly sub-par at age 60) he just said "Do I have to talk to my lawyer about this?!" and all the dogs were called off.
+1.
After 10 years of employment my sister's performance suddenly "declined" when a new boss arrived tasked with reducing the over 50 workforce. On my advice she hired an employment lawyer who subpoena her work records and the action was stopped. That was five years ago and she's still there.

Most large companies in this part of the country will give out decent severance packages in exchange for a signed release from legal action. In fact my sister in law who worked as a payroll clerk got 12 months of severance and subsidized medical coverage until 65 as part of an early retirement package.

Lawsuits are costly and in some cases the company's reputation is at stake.
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