After 9+ years with IBM, I was terminated due to a violation in IBM's Business Conduct Guidelines. I was not paid any severance pay, and not informed about the severance pay properly either. I was given only 10 days notice to be terminated. Can we file lawsuit hoping to receive severance, and for the pain/suffering ?
Don't hold your breath. Unless there is an internal policy they violated or something in your contract which gives you severance pay even if you violate conduct guidelines (which you have not mentioned here) no one is entitled to severance pay. You do not mention your violation either.
This should not be considered legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute a contract for legal services between any parties. Answers are given to questions for which there may be additional facts not mentioned which might change the legal issues or consequences.
If your legal claim is strictly under the severance policy and you violated the Business Conduct Guidelines, then you probably do not have a claim. Also, pain and suffering is not an element of damages for a claim that the employer violated the severance plan.
However, if IBM fired you for another reason and used your actions as a pretext to mask an illegal motive, that is a different story. An illegal motive can be discrimination, retaliation for opposing discriminatory conduct or practices or if you objected to or refused to participate what you reasonably believed to be illegal conduct by IBM employees. Your question does not indicate any such facts but if they exist, you should consult an experienced employment lawyer.
An attorney/client relationship has not been established by this communication. The legal opinion expressed is not definitive and further facts and legal research will be necessary to give a more conclusive and definitive opinion.
New Jersey does not have any law requiring severance. You should consult with a labor and employment attorney to see if there are any actionable claims that could be used to negotiate severance for you. An employer does not necessarily have to follow their own code of conduct if there is a clear and prominent disclaimer in the book.
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