“Offered pittance of a severance. What is my next step?”

Question: Hi, Alan. I am a long time reader of your blog. Great information! Thank you for helping us . . . the “little guys.” Never thought I would need your help, but here goes.

While out on sick leave, my employer sent me a RIF (Reduction In Force) Notice, and a severance package, which is so meager it is insulting. I had been with the company for four years, was out on stress, and now I have no job. The severance letter said I had 45 days to respond, which is coming up soon, and I need to send a response back to them.

I was reviewing your model letters, and do not know which one would fit my situation. What should be my next step? Thanks!

Walnut, California

Answer: Dear Steve: You need to move rather quickly, as you’re facing a deadline. These are my suggestions:

1. First, please consider spending a few minutes watching our YouTube Video on how to negotiate severance. As you may know, YouTube is free. We’ve produced an important video on severance – Severance Negotiating: The Six Sources of Leverage. (Just click on the title to view it.) Every negotiation starts from a set of facts, and you need to determine where your leverage may lie. Someone, or some group, chose you to leave as part of the Reduction In Force. The real question is this: Why were you chosen, and not others. From your note, it seems that you may have leverage in a claim that your employer chose you due to a perception of disability. It’s also possible you have a legal claim for workers’ compensation if your work led to your stress.

2. And, too, we have an entire section devoted to Severance Negotiating on our Resource Center. In that section, you’ll find detailed newsletters and questions-and-answers on nearly every aspect of severance negotiating that you can imagine. To view that section of our blogsite, simply [click here].

3. There are three Model Letters you might be wise to obtain. From what you have told me, I suggest you consider obtaining one or all of the following: (a) Request for More Time to Review or Sign Severance Agreement; (b) Requesting Additional Severance; and (c) Master 94-Point Severance Negotiation Checklist. 

If you would like to obtain the Model Letter assisting you in your Request for More Time to Review or Sign the Severance Agreement, simply [click here].

If you would like to obtain the Model Letter to assist you in Requesting Additional Severance, simply [click here].

If you would like to obtain the Master 94-Point Severance Negotiation Model Letter, simply [click here].

4. I proudly suggest you obtain an instant download of my popular book, “Fired, Downsized or Laid Off: What Your Employer Does NOT Want You to Know.” You can obtain a copy by Instant PDF Download by clicking on the book title in the previous sentence. You can even download just the chapters you are in need of. I am told that it is considered “a classic.”

5. You might also consider obtaining a consultation with an attorney near you who is experienced in representing employees in such matters. From a little bit of internet research I’ve done, it seems you live about 20 miles or so from Los Angeles. If you’d like to obtain a list of five (5) employment attorneys (and their contact information) with experience representing people in your severance-related situation, simply [click here].

Steve, what you wrote – “Never thought I’d need your help” – is something I hear a lot. I hope that, with all of the ways we’ve tried to help people in your predicament, we have made it easier for you to stand up, and help yourself.

Thanks for being a long-time reader, and I hope you’ll continue to be.

Al Sklover

Alan Sklover’s Timeless Classic, Newly Updated and Revised

Fired, Downsized, or Laid Off:

What Your Employer Does NOT Want You to Know
About How to FIGHT BACK

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