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A friend of mine was laid off yesterday after 16 years with his Company.

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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 06:50 AM
Original message
A friend of mine was laid off yesterday after 16 years with his Company.
Edited on Sat Feb-07-09 06:54 AM by Raven
They've told him he has to sign some sort of a waiver within the next 5 days and if he doesn't, he won't get any severance pay. He's asked me to look at the waiver before he decides what to do. Does anyone have any experience with this?
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mdavies013 Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 06:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. Is this a non-compete clause? My limited undertanding is that they are unenforceable.
You can't prevent someone from making a living. The best advice would be to contact an attorney for advice though, with a prefrence towards someone that has employment experience.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. Not in Florida. The courts will enforce them. nt
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 06:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. Severance pay for a layoff? Sounds more like the company is closing
it's doors.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. The waiver is certain to limit his rights to sue his ex-employer
Take a look, and I suggest a lawyer look at it too.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Raven is an attorney.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
24. Labor laws have
differences from state to state. Even an attorney in the state in question may not work with labor law, and thus it is likely best to call someone who specializes in that. (I have friends, for example, who specialize in certain areas of "labor law," who have referred me to other attorneys for answers to specific questions.)
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. My husband had that happen to him.
They made him sign a non-compete clause. The problem is that when he got another job offer, they found out about the non-compete clause and they refused to hire him because of it. They may be illegal, but try and explain that to the new manager trying to hire you. And when you are out of work, you don't have the money to hire a lawyer.
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TheCowsCameHome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. How can they cut him off cold and then say he can't compete?
These b****rds really think they own their employees, even when they dump them.

Man, that stinks to high heaven.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. That's Republiconomics
...all the way...
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peace frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. Non-compete agreements are fairly standard
Edited on Sat Feb-07-09 08:39 AM by peace frog
as I understand it. My husband has signed a few over the course of his career (19 years) and it never prevented him from being hired in the same industry, so there are variables. The main thrust is the employee agrees not to share proprietary information with another employer, which sounds broad but is usually focused on specifics. It was never a problem for him and we live in Florida.
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life long demo Donating Member (116 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
7. I had to sign a waiver when I was laid off in 2004
The company was closing and moving to Mexico. Everyone (255 people) were being laid off. The waiver was because I was 61, and the company that bought us and closed us wanted to protect themselves against an age discrimination case. Ten months after I lost that job, got a job paying more than 57% less than what I was making. I was happy I got a job. How sad is that. I'm 66 now, still working at the same company, can't afford to retire because my 401K is now a 201K (half what it was). I will forever blame Bush and the greed he perpetrated through out businesses.
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
9. Friend of mine, same thing. She was asked to sign a paper that
said she was let go for poor performance. I'm thinking this was so she couldn't get unemployment. She did not sign it, cleaned out her desk and left. Be very careful on papers to sign when leaving.
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melm00se Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
10. the lsat time I got zapped
it was a document that stated that I would not pursue or participate in any suit against the company for any real or perceived rights or legal violations.

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exboyfil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Got my paper in 1992 and they held my vacation and
1 week per year severance (6 weeks total). I was happy to sign and get the severance.

I am hoping, if my current employer now pulls the trigger, they do what they did in the 1980s (highly unlikely), a month a year to one year. I expect to see another week per year.

Never saw anything about non-compete clauses. That would be really cold in addition to getting laid off. The time to sign non-compete clauses is when you join a company not when you are walked out. The ones I have seen usually only apply to voluntary separation/separation for cause.

Never ever sign anything that agrees you are being terminated for cause (that is unless they are ready to hand you a huge cashiers check).
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
11. I don't see any reason to sign anything. n/t


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FarLeftRage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
13. Yes!
I was laid off in late October,2008 and I had to sign a legal waiver in order to get my severance package. They give 90 days to do so.

Under the "terms", I was not to legally contest my layoff in the manner of it being anti-aged (I'm 50), and anti-handicapped I'm handicapped). I was also advised not to bad-mouth them in public for 2 years...

They also advised me to see a lawyer to look it over. I didn't.
I read the 22 page document and noticed a lot of legalese mumbo-jumbo that would confuse the hell out of most folks, but essentially it was all a CYA thing.

I was employed for 13 years....
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wartrace Donating Member (920 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
15. It is just a waiver saying you won't sue. (I just got laid off after 18 yrs)
I am going to have to sign one in May after 18 years on the job. It is a release saying you won't sue them for the termination. I don't know why I would sue them as the place is shutting down and it wasn't discrimination. It is a CYA move by the company.
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
16. Tell him to call his state labor board
If he is legally entitled to wages and pay for unused benefits (unused vacation, etc) then his former employer may be obligated to pay him even in the absence of a signed waiver.

Waivers are sought because the companies want to get former employees to release any potential claims against them.
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
17. When I got laid off, they put a non-compete clause and asked me to sign it.
I refused, on the grounds that it might make it hard for me to get another job in my field, which is very small. They were only offering 10k severance, so it woulndnt have been worth it to me. I asked them to reconsider. They gave me most of my severance anyway and I never signed it.
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
19. probably that he will not sue or class action or collect unemployment
basically by taking the money he is giving up his civil rights - companies tried this in the 80'sand 90's and some states got very angry and paid unemployment because they said the employees were asked to sign away their legal rights
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Blue Diadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
20. If I recall, it had to do with any injury claim for Workers comp. or future lawsuits.
Edited on Sat Feb-07-09 09:53 AM by Blue Diadem
or any claims he or a class action could hold against the employer. My Dh signed one from his employer who closed after he worked there for 25 yrs. We already knew the pension was funded and was going to PBGC and severance negotiations had failed.

We probably should have had a lawyer look at it back then but my DH's company was going bankrupt and we figured you can't get blood out of a turnip. He had no known injuries or illness from that job so he signed it for fear they'd fight unemployment benefits.

I don't like that they are holding your friend's severance hostage until he signs that paper. Does he have a 401K they have contributed to? Have those contributions been made? Does he have vacation pay coming? Will he receive it?

The 5 day time frame sounds very short to me.







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Geek_Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
21. A company I worked for did that to a Friend of Mine
It's basically so you don't sue for wrongful termination.
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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
22. My company does that - standard procedure. Signing away rights
to sue at a later date.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
23. That is really too bad.
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whistler162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
25. I know the one I signed at the end of January 2009
Edited on Sat Feb-07-09 12:32 PM by whistler162
was straight forward severance pay for agreeing not to sue in the future.

The company I work(ed) for offered 1 week per year of service rounded up to the next year, 23 in my case, and continued health benefits under their plan while receiving severance pay. Vacation was paid separately and not a part of the package.

Not all companies handle layoffs badly, but too many do.

The company I was laid off from handled it well. In one case one of the people slated to be laid off was going to retire about 1 month before the lay off was announced. His boss stalled him until the lay off was announced. What this did was allow him to retire and be laid off. Which meant he collected the severance package and retirement package, which was another chunk of money. This happened to 4 other employees.

I still work for the company, independent contractor, on a month to month contract. So at this point I am luckier than some.

I don't like the 5 days or else. My company gave us 45 days to review the paperwork when received and 7 days to reconsider our agreement.

Good luck to you friend.

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whistler162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
26. ****dup***
Edited on Sat Feb-07-09 12:32 PM by whistler162
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-07-09 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
27. I was supposed to sign a waiver to get 4 weeks severance

It wasn't even for the full month, only 4 weeks (20 days).

Anyway, standard procedure basically so that we wouldn't sue.

But at the time it appeared to be age discrimination. There was about 25 of us laid off(fired) at the time, appx 15% of our building, and all of us were long term employees, each with 20+ years of service and appx 45-65 years old. Except for 1 white male under 30. So of course to the company, it was not age discrimination.

So for several months I talked with the EEOC, and to make a long story short, EEOC came back and said they agreed with my company that it was not age discrimination. :eyes:

By this time 6 months had passed, unemployment had run out, so I finally signed the waiver to get my 4 weeks severance. No argument from the company for being 6 months late signing the waiver.
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