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  • layoff Texas

    Sorry this is so long. Earlier this month i was laid off, and i am aware that Texas is an "at-will" state. Is there anything that the company must provide (such as information on my benefits, 401K, etc) or is there any chance I can take legal action?

    First, a little background: In my department; I was one of two employees who was with the company for almost 2 years. Needless to say that there is a high turn around in our department. Let me also say that I am one of two other employees (also in my department) that has kids. My kids are very young, while the other employees child is in high school. I usually have to use vacation time or sick time because of my childrens dr.'s appointments as well as during times when their daycare or school is closed.

    I can admit that business had slowed, but I still had more than enough work to keep me busy. My immediate manager came around and began asking all of us if we wanted to go home early or go work in another department if needed. We all gave our response in an open discussion, nothing was done behind closed doors. After that, she came to my desk and asked me to start training another employee on my job just in case I was out during the holidays or something like that. That made me really uneasy, because I had replaced two other previous employees and they had been told to do the same thing. I went to my manager in her office and asked if there was anything I needed to be worried about, such as being fired or being laid off. I expressed to her that i just needed to be sure because of my daycare situation, and bills, because if I was going to be let go I needed to start making financial arrangements. She told me I had nothing to worry about and that my job was secure. I believed her. My birthday is right before new years and we receive our b-day as a floating holiday. I reminded her of this and she told me she could not give it me because it is at the new year holiday. Even, though she let her lead take 3 days of christmas vacation. I thought this was very unfair, but decided on taking a different day instead and she approved. The next day she came to me and looked over my desk calendar with me, and asked if she could give me some days around the holidays off, would i be okay with that. I told her yes, as long as I could use my vacation time so I receive payment. I went on to lunch and when I came back, she asked me to our supervisors office. I was in there with a total of three people. She began to tell me that things were slow, and they were laying me off. I wasn't given anything to sign, and I was told that HR would be contacting me to let me know about benefits and what to expect, etc. I have not heard one word from them. I have called, left messages, had them paged; and no one will return my calls. I think i was let go because of my responsiblities to my kids. I have never been written up, always performed well, and trained some of the people in my department. I had even turned in my two weeks notice a few months earlier and they had my hours adjusted so I wouldn't leave the company. And I was told that the lay off was not even needed. I was one of 4 people in our corporate office that was laid off, not included 2 temps that were hired about a week or two before this occured. Is there anything at all I can do, or is this just another case of being treated unfairly, i feel like there should be something I can do about this.

  • #2
    Originally posted by ap0308 View Post
    Is there anything that the company must provide (such as information on my benefits, 401K, etc) or is there any chance I can take legal action?

    i feel like there should be something I can do about this.
    The company must provide your final pay by the sixth day from the date of termination. They must provide information concerning COBRA (health insurance continuation) within, I believe, 45 days, if it applies. They will let the administrator of your 401(k) plan tell you about your options. Depending on the amount in your account, you'll be able to either (1) take a lump sum payment or (2) roll it over to an IRA. You likely haven't been there long enough for it to be big enough to allow you to leave it on deposit.

    You'll want to file a claim for unemployment compensation immediately.

    Don't know what legal action you want to take. By your account, business has slowed, and the employer laid you off. Barring evidence that the action was taken because of a protected category membership (having kids is not), you're SOL.

    Good luck. We'll be seeing a lot more layoffs within the next year or so.

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    • #3
      How can I find out if the WARN act applies to my situation? When I was told I was being layed off, one of the guys in the room told me that he had already layed off about 100 sales reps that same day.

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      • #4
        How many employees overall, and how many were laid off?
        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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        • #5
          Warn

          Originally posted by ap0308 View Post
          How can I find out if the WARN act applies to my situation?
          WARN applies in cases of plant closings (the entire facility closes, and 50 or more are laid off), or mass layoff (either 50 to 500 at a single facility, where a third or more of the total employment is laid off, or a layoff of 500 or more.) That's a pretty high bar.

          DoL has a good brochure on WARN @ http://www.doleta.gov/layoff/pdf/WorkerWARN2003.pdf.

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          • #6
            when I was told that I was being layed off, it was mentioned that about 100 representatives were also laid off the same day, and that more were going to follow. I assumed that with that many employees being laid off, we should have been notified. Would it even be possible for me to find out how many employees total were laid off?
            ap0308
            Junior Member
            Last edited by ap0308; 01-01-2009, 07:22 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Texas709 View Post
              WARN applies in cases of plant closings (the entire facility closes, and 50 or more are laid off), or mass layoff (either 50 to 500 at a single facility, where a third or more of the total employment is laid off, or a layoff of 500 or more.
              ap0308 - Just for your info the above applies to the loss or the mass lay off of the employees during any 30 day period.
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