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Layoffs: negotiating a better severance deal

This article in Fortune questions the notion that you have no leverage in a layoff. It notes that under certain conditions, you might be able to finagle a better severance package.

For instance, let’s say your company’s rule of thumb is two weeks’ pay for each year of service. “That’s a commonly used formula left over from when people tended to stay with the same employer for many years,” Bayer notes. “But suppose you are a 50-year-old manager making $100,000 a year who was wooed away from a competitor and had to move across the country to take this job, and let’s say that was just two or three years ago. Is four or six weeks’ severance pay really fair?” In such a case, even the most hardnosed boss is likely to agree you should get more.

Another consideration: negotiating more favorable health coverage.

Sounds pretty Pollyanna-ish to a natural-born cynic like me. I mean, really, would any of this fly at a company like Caterpillar? Never know till you ask.

A more serious bit of advice to be culled from the article: find out your severance rights and do your utmost to get every penny you have coming to you. You might not get more but you should not settle for less.

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Tom Mangan posted at 9:51 am January 27th, 2009 |

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