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Started Jan 10 2013, 21:29

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Jan 10 2013, 21:29
Salaried employee. Just got notified that my last day is in about 2.5 months. HR told me I would get 2 months severance pay if I stay until that date. This implies that this falls under the WARN act even though they did not use those words. I work for a large public corporation and profits are down, so I expected layoffs. However, I work for the contracting wing, so my layoff is due to cutbacks by the client. It is essentially salaried temp work.

1. The HR department refused to give exact numbers for my severance package until my last day. I take it that this is normal. I got in an email (and this is not a contract) that I would get 2 months pay, 1 week for time with the company, 2 weeks vacation pay (since vacation time resets january first), plus part of my bonus. Verbally they used 'may' get a certain percent of your bonus. They won't totally confirm anything. Is it normal to not confirm severance packages until your last day? I believe the WARN act is required by law, but the 1 week pay and the bonus can be revoked. Also, it is company policy to reset vacation each year and not make it accrue.

2. If they offer me other work in the company and I turn it down, does this void the WARN act payment of 2 months pay? They are actively looking for other work. To be honest, I'd like to first look for something to time outside the company.

3. If I find a job outside the company before my official last day, but don't start until after I leave, does this void the WARN act? They sent me something that asks me to talk to my manager if I find another job so they could 'time a transition' , which to means, get rid of me before my last day so no severance package.

4. If #2 is true, what are the terms of the job? My manager told me to also look for internal jobs at below my pay grade. So if I am offered a job for less money than I make and turn it down, do I void the WARN act?

5. If #2 is true, if they offer me a job doing something else and I turn it down does this void the WARN act? I am in a niche technical field. If I switch to something else even at the same pay, this hurts me long term. Because it resets my experience level. My profession is hire/fire, so it is only a good idea for me to do this if I am really desperate. They of course don't want to hear about my needs upon leaving the company.

6. If I take another job inside the company and am subsequently laid off after wards and it is not part of a large layoff, do I lose the WARN act compensation? I don't think the company would maliciously do this, but if it happens, they don't care. The work in this group is employee contracting. So these jobs come and go. The company big time moves job to India too. I would prefer to go elsewhere if I can time the leave.

7. I asked for a copy of the separation agreement in advance and HR has not responded. Are they required to give me this ahead of time so I can read it? I have to sign there contract to get the money. I want to know what I am signing. I am not currently under a non-compete agreement, but I have had companies spring all kinds of garbage in contracts on me and say sign this right now. It is unlikely that a company this large would do that (I'm not important enough), but I would prefer to read it in advance.

8. If I get the severance pay is there anything I have to look for where the company could try to take the money back? They said if I am re-hired in less than 12 months they can take it back on a pro-rated basis. Anything else? I have NO intention of stealing any equipment or documents or anything that can be considered intellectual property. I already told my manager that it is ok to give me important tasks and I won't cause trouble. I did this to make sure they don't have an excuse to terminate me for cause in advance. I do not think they would intentionally do this. Just checking.

9. They said in a document that severance is taxed at a 25% supplemental income tax rate? I am over that marginal tax rate. Do you know what this means? Will I pay the lower amount? When I get a w-2 in 2014 for this, will it be in a separate category?

10. I have asked HR some of these questions (i can't asking about leaving etc...) but did not get a response. So I am taking it here. Anything else I need to know? I know, I will turn over everything. No big deal to me.



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