I was just terminated from an executive position after 18 years with my company. I was told that it was a layoff due to cost reduction and that my duties would be redistributed. I am 62 years old, and in the past have seen some of my responsibilities go to much younger and clearly less equipped executives (and actually been told by the CFO a few years back that would be the plan). The company is an ESOP, and there is a great deal of cronyism. In recent difficult financial times that has left me vulnerable as the only large salary not an ESOP sponsor or related to the sponsors. Further, there were only two large salaries remaining at the executive level besides the CFO, the CEO, mine and the CEO's cousin. The company has offered a five week severance (seems very low) along with my 6 weeks of vacation accrued along with sick leave which are currently due. I originally had a 4 month severance clause in my employment agreement under which I started with the company, but since then ownership has changed, my position has changed and so has my compensation agreement (which has no severance clause & purports to supersedes any prior compensation or employment terms).
I would need to ask you some more information but I agree, it does seem low.
Legal matters are very fact sensitive and a complete factual and legal analysis needs to be performed prior to providing any legal advice. Therefore, this answer does not constitute legal advice and it does not establish an attorney client relationship. If you do want legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.
I would recommend that you speak with an employment attorney about your situation. If your employer terminated you based on illegal considerations of age, you may have claims under applicable state and federal anti-discrimination statutes. It also sounds like the company may owe you bonus compensation, which can similarly give rise to claims for improper wage withholding, willful withholding, and attorneys' fees and costs. Finally, an employment attorney can also help you with the process of obtaining a more favorable severance package, in the event you are not interested in protracted litigation.
You should get a consultation from a good local employment lawyer who represents employees, not management, before you sign anything or make any further decisions. Your age suggests you may be the victim of illegal discrimination, and you need to discuss that with a local employment lawyer immediately.
This answer is intended as general information and not as specific legal advice.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline