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Company Re-Org in Pennsylvania Pennsylvania

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  • Company Re-Org in Pennsylvania Pennsylvania

    My Company is in the middle of what they call a re-structuring. Essentially, the new organization has less number of positions than the current employees. When this event was announced, they have told me (along with all members of our department) that our position is no longer available as of an upcoming date. We were also told that we need to apply for a position and only if we are not matched that we will be given severance package. I applied for some positions and did not get either of them. However, I am now being told that they placed me at a lower position (I was previously in management and this is a non management role). I was also told, there will not be a paycut but it is a lower grade and I have yet to see the HR information on the details of this new job. I was also forced to accept the offer right there and then and was told that if I did not, it will be equivalent to me resigning. I had no other choice but to accept it without seeing any job description.

    I am not sure what their criteria for identifying who gets to stay and who needs to go. In talking with my peers, I found that most people willing to discuss this with me got the same grade level positions that they currently have, I only know of two so far who got a lower grade such as I did but the difference is that they applied for that job because they needed one no matter what.

    My question is, do I have any legal grounds to decline the offer and opt for the severance package instead due to the situation of asking me to accept an offer without seeing the job description?

    Thanks
    Last edited by INeedLLHelp; 05-15-2012, 08:27 PM.

  • #2
    In 47 states, and in the majority of the time in the remaining 3, severance is entirely determined by company policy. There is no law you can invoke that will force them to grant you severance if you turn down the position, and it would be EXTREMELY unusual if their policy allowed for you to collect the severance package when turning down a position.

    The law also does not require that they show you the position before requiring that you accept or decline. I find it odd, myself, that they are not, but it's not a violation of any law for them to insist on an immediate decision.

    Bottom line, it is legal for you to turn down the position, but whether you will or will not be eligible for severance is going to be up to your employer - the law will not force them to give it to you.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      From the employer's perspective, why should they pay out severance when they've offered you a job and you've turned it down? That's generally the way they look at it.
      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
        While I agree with the other answer, there is a (small) chance that the WARN act may be applicable.
        http://www.doleta.gov/programs/factsht/warn.htm
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          And if you turn down the job offer, I would think unemployment would be off the table as well.
          I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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          • #6
            Even if WARN does apply, it wouldn't change the fact that severance is not required and the OP was offered a job. If offered a job, the employer has met their burden.
            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.

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