Help this laid off techie get one extra week of severance pay!
July 10, 2014 12:09 PM Subscribe
I was just laid off as part of a "workforce reduction" at my company. I am leaving on very good terms, no ill will whatsoever towards the management or the company. EXCEPT: they just forced everyone to take a week off, and then fired a bunch of us the very next week.
posted by rada to Work & Money (21 answers total)
I am getting the standard two-weeks severance but I would also like to get the "stolen" week back. I would not have taken this week voluntarily - I tried to get out of it, but our management was firm that everyone has to take the week off, no exceptions.
This shutdown week was officially justified as: the company did not meet financial goals, half the manufacturing people were taking time off anyway so the remaining half was left with nothing to do, might as well shut down and save money. Except, us software people have nothing to do with manufacturing schedules - and, it's hardly fair to make former employees essentially give their earned PTO dollars to the company they are no longer working for. Oh, and the speech that we got before the shutdown at a company-wide stand-up meeting was that it was an alternative to layoffs. Basically, "we had to choose between pay cuts, layoffs and a shutdown, and we chose shutdown as the least painful alternative".
I did talk to an HR person about this and she said "we don't do extra severance bla-bla-bla generic corporate speak bla-bla-bla". (I said I needed to think about that and ended the conversation).
Is there anything I can do? Any legal ideas or specific talking points? I do not think it's worth it for me to lawyer up on this as one week's pay is probably the same or less than the legal costs, and from what I could find on the internets, it is not actually illegal for a company to force employees to take PTO.
A few maybe-relevant points: I am in Minnesota, and I am holding off on signing the severance agreement while trying to resolve this issue. The company did the same thing with our Christmas week but I am willing to forget it.