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Severance Package New Jersey

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  • Severance Package New Jersey

    The Director of my department called me into her office and told me that my job was being eliminated and that my services were no longer needed effective immediately. She also said that I would continue to receive my salary and benefits for 10 weeks (one week for every year worked), and handed me an "agreement" detailing the terms of my separation from the company, which required my signature. I didn't think that I had any reason to believe that the terms of the written agreement would differ from what I was told verbally, and I was so upset at the time that I signed the agreement without reading it thoroughly (stupid me). I was then escorted to my cubicle and was asked to gather my personal belonging and return all keys, key cards and parking passes after which I was escorted out of the office. Now that I've had time to read the agreement thoroughly, it says that I will accrue no benefits as of the "separation date", and that I can continue through COBRA at my expense. I have a few questions:

    1 - I'm assuming that even though I was told verbally that my benefits would continue for 10 weeks, I signed the agreement saying that they would not so there's really not anything I can do to get my benefits back. Am I correct, and if so, when should I expect to be notified of the details of COBRA (length, cost to me, how it is to be paid, etc)?

    2 - Even though I was told that my job was being eliminated, the agreement I signed says that my employment was "terminated, effective immediately". Do semantics matter here? The agreement also refers to my 10 weeks of pay as "salary continuation pay" and includes vacation time that was accrued but not taken. I will receive this salary bi-monthly, as I did as an employee. It also says "this separation pay includes any pay in lieu of notice to which you might be entitled as well as any other vacation pay or any other pay to which you claim entitlement". A friend told me that this statement alone would qualify me for unemployment benefits immediately. Can I file for Unemployment Insurance and start collecting immediately?

    Thank you in advance for any/all replies.

  • #2
    If you are over age 40, the law gives you 7 days to rescind your acceptance. Other than that, legally, it's the lesson-learned-the-hard-way lesson, unless there is someone you can speak to (HR maybe) and explain what you were told and by whom.

    Every separation from employment is a "termination". Yours was an involuntary termination due to position elimination.

    I am not sure what your state's laws are regarding salary continuation, but since it is being paid on the regular pay frequency, I doubt very seriously you would qualify for benefits until such payments are completed. If it had been paid in a lump sum, the result might have been different.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Re your COBRA question - Employers must notify plan administrators within 30 days after an employee's termination (as long as the termination was for reasons other than gross misconduct). Within 14 days after receiving notice from the employer, the plan administrator must then provide written notice to individuals qualified to elect COBRA. Any employer acting as its own plan administrator has 44 days to provide COBRA election notice to qualified individuals.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        NJ Severance Pay

        You should have been notified by your former employer regarding your COBRA benefits. I would recommend that you contact an (employment attorney) and have them contact your company to discuss the verbal agreement. You may be able to negotiate a better severance agreement with the assistance of an (employment attorney).
        Last edited by Betty3; 01-31-2010, 11:08 AM. Reason: remove website

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        • #5
          Law-CM - please do not reply to old threads - also do not post advertising your website in your post.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

          Comment

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