My sister-in-law works in Detroit and was a very successful key account manager for 15 years. She was hired away my another company 14 months ago. Last week her division was closed down and she was let go. She had exemplary results with the new company and they are offering 2 weeks severance pay. It is my understanding that the courts would recognize her 15 years with the previous company as part of her severance, since the new company had solicited her to join them. If she sues what would the typical result be? 9 months?
Absent a contractual obligation, there is no obligation on the part of an employer to pay a severance. Your sister-in-law may want to have an attorney look at whether any promises or agreements were made in soliciting her that could provide some basis for a suit, but that is likely to be a very weak case if it were actually pursued. But based on the limited information, I think she would be best served by having an attorney review the severance agreement that is proposed to make sure her interests are adequately protected. I hope this helps.
I'm licensed to practice law in Michigan (www.shinnlegal.com) and I primarly focus on employment law and litigation. My office is located in Keego Harbor, MI. My response is provided only to educate the public about general issues that should be discussed with competent legal counsel in your state. Under no circumstances should you consider my response as a substitute for consulting an attorney in order to fully understand how the law may apply to your specific and unique circumstances.
Severance is a gift payment and buys a release of the employee v. The employer. There is no right to it. If there is a contract, that would control.
My answer to you question does not constitute legal advice. Only an in person or telephone consultation will result in an attorney/client relationship. Please do not rely on brief answers without checking with an attorney in a confidential consultation.
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