Skip to main content

Do I need an Employment Attorney?

Bellingham, WA |

I was laid off from a 9 year career as a 60 yr old woman. In the past, the precedence was the shortest time employed were let go first, however this time, the 2 oldest were let go with 2 newer employees. In my contract it's suggested/advised 3 times for seniors to consult an attorney before signing. HR made this suggestion when our packets were handed to us too. When I asked for the criteria for my layoff, HR would not give me any details, only that the co. was reconfiguring, causing eliminations. I was a top performer for many years. There is an employee who has been in our department for less than 90 days who was not laid off.
Another issue-our severance is being pd out like paychecks over a 4 month period. We can't collect Unemployment or get another job during this time. Normal?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    Both prior answers are correct. GET THEE TO AN ATTORNEY!!! This type of situation is typically either a free initial consult or a flat (low) fee for initial consult situation with a presentment of quotes and options for you depending upon what you want to have happen. Time is important here. If you want to learn more about this while waiting to see an attorney do basic internet searches on "Age Discrimination" and, since this is within the state of Washington - try adding "RCW 49.60" to your search. I could say tons more, including the 180 day time limit to file complaint with the human rights commission and/or the 300 day time limit to file with the EEOC but YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY and you need to follow that attorney's advice.


  2. You definitely need to speak with an employment attorney before you sign a severance agreement or any other paperwork for your employer.


  3. There are several questions that must be answered. They include: did you keep a detailed diary chronologizing your claim? Do you have a timeline of events? Are there witnesses who will corroborate your description of the workplace? Which administrative agency , federal (EEOC) or state (WHRC) or simultaneously filing with both, should you consider? One of the factors to be considered is which court state or federal are you most likely to get a trial date faster? Should you file a discrimination claim? Under the Older Workers Benefits Protection Act you are entitled to protection as an older employee who is facing a severance departure or age discrimination. Among your rights are: Were you afforded at least 21 days to consider the severance package or 45 days if you were a part of a group? Were you given something of value were you to agree to a severance package? You are entitled to consult a lawyer to get advice regarding the severance being offered to you.
    The Supreme Court has issued several opinions regarding the waiver issue. Was there a waiver of rights? and if so was that waiver freely and voluntarily given? These are just a few of the factors you may consider in determining your options.

    This answer is predicated on the facts provided in which the lawyer cannot confirm or verify. I do not represent you as we do not have an attorney-client relationship.