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Recently told my job is being eliminated, asked to work in a different dept for less salary. Am I entitled to severance?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 22nd, 2020 4:43 pm
[OP]
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Jul 11, 2003
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Recently told my job is being eliminated, asked to work in a different dept for less salary. Am I entitled to severance?

Last week I was told my job at my company was being made redundant, I'm a graphic designer. Since March our office has been working from home. About week into WFH I was asked if I would help out another department that had been short-staffed, and as there was less graphic design work coming in, they'd really appreciate it.

I said yes, was trained up, and have been working in this temporary role since then. Last week my manager spoke with me to tell me that they are eliminating my graphic design position and would I like to take up this temporary role I've been helping out with. It would mean about a 10% salary cut, but I would be eligible for a yearly bonus as I'd be working in a different department, which means the salary cut would be reduced, depending on the bonus amount. This position is drastically different from my design role, where my passion still lies. I told her I would think about it, and didn't think of any questions to ask at the time as it was unexpected and it was still sinking in.

I've been with the company for almost 18 years, in the same position. If I decline the new role, could I ask to be laid off with a severance package as my graphic design role is being made redundant? I haven't been given anything to sign.

Any advice is appreciated.
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29 replies
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
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You should consider yourself lucky to have been offered a position in the other department as most companies would have just axed your position and asked you to reapply for other positions and not give you any other options. So, I would take the temp position and start looking for another position in graphic design as that's where your passion is. If you say 'take a severance package', then look for a job, it may be much harder for you to find one while being unemployed.
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Jan 31, 2006
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mark_in_2k wrote: Last week I was told my job at my company was being made redundant, I'm a graphic designer. Since March our office has been working from home. About week into WFH I was asked if I would help out another department that had been short-staffed, and as there was less graphic design work coming in, they'd really appreciate it.

I said yes, was trained up, and have been working in this temporary role since then. Last week my manager spoke with me to tell me that they are eliminating my graphic design position and would I like to take up this temporary role I've been helping out with. It would mean about a 10% salary cut, but I would be eligible for a yearly bonus as I'd be working in a different department, which means the salary cut would be reduced, depending on the bonus amount. This position is drastically different from my design role, where my passion still lies. I told her I would think about it, and didn't think of any questions to ask at the time as it was unexpected and it was still sinking in.

I've been with the company for almost 18 years, in the same position. If I decline the new role, could I ask to be laid off with a severance package as my graphic design role is being made redundant? I haven't been given anything to sign.

Any advice is appreciated.
Question #1: In your position before the pandemic, do you receives yearly bonus?

Question #2: In the position they offered you which is 10% less, is the 10% cut >= yearly bonus?

I don't see they will laid you off, since they will pay a big severance..
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2017
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OP, look up the other severance threads in here. You can definitely decline this new role in which case they will have to pay you severance. You’d be eligible for at least 4 weeks of severance per year of service so in your case 72 weeks. When they offer you severance don’t accept anything on the spot, take it back and think about and research. They will put a deadline by which you need to accept the offer but that is a made up deadline to pressure you to accept.

Btw, if you accept the new role and they decide to let you go at some point later the package will be at the new lower salary.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
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Might be worth taking the severance. That's 18 years. I guess depends on OP's age and ability to find a job.

edit: Speak to people who got severances and ask if they are good...or bargain basement. Some companies pay 2 weeks per year of service and that's it. Read the contract you signed.
[OP]
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Jul 11, 2003
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cgtlky wrote:
Question #1: In your position before the pandemic, do you receives yearly bonus? No, before Covid I didn't receive any bonus as my department wasn't in the sales group.

Question #2: In the position they offered you which is 10% less, is the 10% cut >= yearly bonus? The bonus would all depend on the revenue generated in the previous 12 months. I was told an average dollar amount that they have paid out of the last couple of years. The total would be a bit less than my currently salary, but I'd have to adjust my monthly budget as the bonus is paid out once in February.
ProductGuy wrote: OP, look up the other severance threads in here. You can definitely decline this new role in which case they will have to pay you severance. You’d be eligible for at least 4 weeks of severance per year of service so in your case 72 weeks. When they offer you severance don’t accept anything on the spot, take it back and think about and research. They will put a deadline by which you need to accept the offer but that is a made up deadline to pressure you to accept.

Btw, if you accept the new role and they decide to let you go at some point later the package will be at the new lower salary.
Thanks, good information for me.
JayLove06 wrote: Might be worth taking the severance. That's 18 years. I guess depends on OP's age and ability to find a job.
I'm mid-40's. An option I may have if they offer me severance is Second Career program in Ontario where I could get financial assistance for a school program.
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Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2017
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JayLove06 wrote: Might be worth taking the severance. That's 18 years. I guess depends on OP's age and ability to find a job.

edit: Speak to people who got severances and ask if they are good...or bargain basement. Some companies pay 2 weeks per year of service and that's it. Read the contract you signed.
The signed contract is irrelevant, you can get more than it if you negotiate as common cases payouts are already established in the courts.
Newbie
Aug 10, 2018
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ProductGuy wrote: This is irrelevant, there are court cases which have established higher payout of at least 4 weeks per year of service.
One week ago, mass layoffs in automotive company in GTA, a guy after 10 years got initial severance proposal of 1 week per 1 year plus lump sum of 8 weeks, which I think corresponds to the recent ESA as severance package and termination payment.
And in my opinion, I'm not sure that in the COVID situation courts will give 4 weeks.
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Jan 1, 2017
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Dzik99 wrote: One week ago, mass layoffs in automotive company in GTA, a guy after 10 years got initial severance proposal of 1 week per 1 year plus lump sum of 8 weeks, which I think corresponds to the recent ESA as severance package and termination payment.
And in my opinion, I'm not sure that in the COVID situation courts will give 4 weeks.
Is this your professional LEGAL opinion? Lol companies always give a horrible offer on their initial offer. You have to fight for your rights not just blindly accept what they offer.
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Mar 23, 2008
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ProductGuy wrote: Is this your professional LEGAL opinion? Lol companies always give a horrible offer on their initial offer. You have to fight for your rights not just blindly accept what they offer.
Is all this YOUR professional LEGAL opinion? I really doubt the OP will get anywhere close to 72 weeks (1.4 years) of severance. But yes, it's good to talk to an actual lawyer (which I am not) and get the real scoop.

C
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Jan 1, 2017
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CNeufeld wrote: Is all this YOUR professional LEGAL opinion? I really doubt the OP will get anywhere close to 72 weeks (1.4 years) of severance. But yes, it's good to talk to an actual lawyer (which I am not) and get the real scoop.

C
That’s my RFD opinion based on all the info I have seen on here and heard from people. OP should easily get at least a year worth of pay.
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Jul 13, 2009
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The job market is BAD. You may not find your next job for 12-36 months. If you can afford to, and have a plan to last up to 36 months, go that route.

Otherwise, 10% less salary isn't bad at all. A lot of people are seeing 20% cuts and no bonus at all, in the name of "cost cutting"/
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Aug 10, 2018
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ProductGuy wrote: Is this your professional LEGAL opinion? Lol companies always give a horrible offer on their initial offer. You have to fight for your rights not just blindly accept what they offer.
Definitely, people should fight for their rights getting professional legal help.
My opinion is exactly the same as yours in terms of they're both based on your and my perception of the situation and zero experience beingn a lawyer or judge.
In my not professional opinion it is easier to increase from 2 weeks to 4, than from 1 week to 4. Do you think why ESA has been changed during COVID from 2 week severance to 1? I think, to minimize an impact on businesses because they are in a bad shape. Do you think judge will cause a potential bankruptcy of a business forcing it to pay big severance in a case of mass terminations? I don't think so.
People should accept that approaches which worked in the past may change now.
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mark_in_2k wrote: The bonus would all depend on the revenue generated in the previous 12 months. I was told an average dollar amount that they have paid out of the last couple of years. The total would be a bit less than my currently salary, but I'd have to adjust my monthly budget as the bonus is paid out once in February.
Post #14. opinion is nice. @ProductGuy seems to be an expert employment lawyer. With a pandemic economy even if you get an severance equal to 1 year. The next 12 to 18 months may not be good, in terms to finding a new job. A 10% salary cut is not bad after all compare to no job and uncertain future.
Member
Oct 5, 2019
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It all comes down to level of confidence. If you think you can get a good job that’s in your field obviously get severance (as much as you can get) and move on.

Do you need to make the decision now though? Why not apply and interview first. If you get an offer, of it the job market for your field looks ok then the decision becomes obvious.
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Feb 4, 2010
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craftsman wrote: You should consider yourself lucky to have been offered a position in the other department as most companies would have just axed your position and asked you to reapply for other positions and not give you any other options. So, I would take the temp position and start looking for another position in graphic design as that's where your passion is. If you say 'take a severance package', then look for a job, it may be much harder for you to find one while being unemployed.
OP I would be very careful about taking this advice - IMO this comes from a place of fear. Stay true to your passion otherwise you might end up stuck doing a job you don't enjoy. There's a lot of fear-mongering going on try to take it with a grain of salt. There's no guarantee they won't let you go in this new role either. Definitely agree with this post:
ProductGuy wrote: OP, look up the other severance threads in here. You can definitely decline this new role in which case they will have to pay you severance. You’d be eligible for at least 4 weeks of severance per year of service so in your case 72 weeks. When they offer you severance don’t accept anything on the spot, take it back and think about and research. They will put a deadline by which you need to accept the offer but that is a made up deadline to pressure you to accept.

Btw, if you accept the new role and they decide to let you go at some point later the package will be at the new lower salary.
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Oct 26, 2003
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hierophant wrote: OP I would be very careful about taking this advice - IMO this comes from a place of fear. Stay true to your passion otherwise you might end up stuck doing a job you don't enjoy. There's a lot of fear-mongering going on try to take it with a grain of salt. There's no guarantee they won't let you go in this new role either. Definitely agree with this post:
If op wants to negotiate from a position of strength, they he needs to be looking at another job right away and then have the ability for push for more with more options available.
WTB amazon gc @90%
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Feb 4, 2010
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divx wrote: If op wants to negotiate from a position of strength, they he needs to be looking at another job right away and then have the ability for push for more with more options available.
Making fear-based decisions is never operating from a position of strength, quite the opposite.

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