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Lied to again New York

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  • Lied to again New York

    To make a long story short: On 3/9/07 I was fired from my job. No love loss there. The Head of HR told me that I would have health insurance until the end of the month and that I would receive 3 weeks severance pay.

    I received documents in the mail today stating that my health insurance was terminated as of 3/9/07 not 3/31/07 and I would only recieve 1 week severance pay. I do have 2 weeks vacation that they owe me and it is stated in the employee manual that they do pay for unused time. Please do not get me wrong I am very happy to receive something. But, I have worked there for a long time and put up with OH SO MUCH that to now find out that I lost my health insurance when I saw 4 drs to get all of my check ups, prescriptions done. Yes, I can pick up COBRA but the $1290.00 that it would cost is just not possible. NY offers Healthy NY which is more affordable for me.

    I hope that they that cannot away with this. When I started I had no health insurance and the HR person "forgot" to enroll me and would not enroll me and another person for 3 more months. I have scheduled vacations and had to cancel them bc I was needed at work. I am telling you all of this to show that I have had it. To tell me that I would have health insurance and 3 weeks and then to find out that I do not...Is this legal? They did not have to offer me anything but they did.

    Also, I received a Release form stating that if I sign it, I release them from any liability and that "You understand and agree that you would not receive such consideration except for your execution of this letter"

    I know that I will probably need to have a lawyer explain the letter to me since I would be waiving my rights and claims under federal, state and local laws. And, I have no idea what I rights I am waiving. It also has a part in it that I will keep my mouth shut about confidential info. that I may have come into contact with, seen or distributed.

    What do you think?

    Any advice or information will help.

  • #2
    Thank you so much for your replay JoeC. I do need to talk to a lawyer. Does anyone know what rights I would be waiving? or has anyone experienced this before?


    • #3
      Thank you again JoeC

      They were very smart and will not give me the severance unless I sign that document, and that if I sign the release they will not contest any claim I file for unemployment benefits. I do not plan on signing. I have already looked up local Employment-Labor Lawyers.

      All that I can say is what the frak is wrong w/people. They must be worried that I would report the numerous Microsoft licensing violations or the fact that the they are breaking Federal and State banking laws, or that they are far from being Sarbanes-Oxley compliant. Oppsy I guess that I just did. When are some companies going to learn. Do not mess with the people you tell your secrets too. Had I received my health insurance and 3 weeks severance and my 2 weeks vacation, I would be a merry lil' girl and left them alone. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

      Another Question: If they state in the employee manual that they DO pay for unused vacation...then they need to pay me...I just looked at my bank acct and they did the direct deposit as usual but they shorted me 1 weeks vacation. How do I revoke their right to deposit money in my bank accoutn?.
      Last edited by Ninny2007; 03-16-2007, 08:21 PM.


      • #4
        Waivers such as you describe are actually almost standard when granting severance. It is not an indication that you were treated unfairly or there is a claim for some legal action. Seriously, this is practically a given when offering severance as there is no benefit for the employer to do so otherwise. Even a meritless claim takes a lot of time and money to defend, so most employers attempt to cut the odds of this happening by way of these agreements. If they were just looking to give you money for no benefit to them, they'd have given you a raise when you still worked there. I would still have a lawyer review it with you as no one here can tell you what the terms are if we have not read it.

        There are also some things that you can not sign your rights away to. Filing for UC is one of them. Reporting your employer for breaking a non-employment based law is another. Some circuits have extended this to include allowing employees to file a claim under Title VII, just not gain monetarily from any claim filed. A lawyer can help you determine whether the release covers any of the things that you may be inclined to report.

        If you are being asked to sign away your right to bring a claim under ADEA (you don't mention if you are over 40 or not) then you must be given 21 days to get the agreement reviewed by a lawyer and have 7 days to change your decision once made.

        I'm not sure who told you that your benefits would continue through the end of the month but whether they do or cease the date of termination depends upon how your insurance contract is written. This is not something your employer has the option of changing on a case by case basis. The Head of HR should know the rules but it is possible this person doesn't have daily dealings with the administration of the plan. Have you specifically asked why you were told something different and why you were told you would get 3 weeks of severance? Could they have meant the 2 weeks of vacation would be treated as severance?

        Why would you want to discontinue direct deposit? You would need to contact the company to do this. It may be that the payroll system will only pay so much as direct deposit and the balance of the vacation will be paid by manual check. There is at least one payroll company out there that defaults paying it this way. I have no idea why.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


        • #5
          Regarding the health insurance: I understand that it is how the policy is written could have determined if I would receive benefits until the end of the month. And, if the head of HR did not tell me that I would receive benefits until the end of the month, this would not even be a problem. But, she did. She is also the same person who messed up my health insurance when I started employment there. The company was taking money out of my paycheck for health insurance when I did not have health insurance. It took 3 months to re cope that money.

          Regarding the severance pay: From how the letter is written it looks as through I will not receive severance unless I sign the letter. I have not had the chance to talk to the dingbat yet. I received everything yesterday at 3:30pm and she has not returned my call yet. Knowing what an idiot she is, she probably meant 1 weeks severance pay and 2 weeks vacation. But, my direct deposit does not reflect 2 weeks vacation pay. I want to discontinue the direct deposit so that I can pick up any monies owned and not have to wait until dingbat gets around to mailing my pay stub.
          Unfortunately, I just need to talk to the head of HR on Monday.

          Regarding the letter: I do not feel comfortable signing the letter. I have no faith that they are trying to be nice, just or fair. I would never consider suing them. I worked, they lost a HUGH lawsuit and people have been getting fired over the last 2 months. I did not think it was going to be me, since I managed the IT dept., but the less Directors the more money for them.

          Thank you so much ElleMD, any insight does help. When I talk to the HR dept on Monday I will feel better about it now.
          Last edited by Ninny2007; 03-17-2007, 08:05 AM.