Employer won’t respond to negotiation on terms of Termination after lay off. What to do ?

BlackRock Lary
Jan 17 131 Comments

So I was laid off last week. I sent out an email to the delivery list provided for Q&A and negotiation around the Terms of Termination. It’s been a week and they haven’t responded to my email ! I only have until next week to accept the T&C to be eligible for a lump sum severance pay out. I’ve tried to follow up on email ( which is the only point of contact provided in the termination letter ) but no response yet.

I’m sure they are not responding so in the end when I’m out of time I’ll just accept the terms they mentioned at first, and they won’t have to do anything.

How can I fight back with the clock ticking ? Should I forward the negotiation email to my Manager ? or my Manager’s Manager ( who broke the “You’re getting laid off “ news to me ) ?

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TOP 131 Comments
  • Paychex cout
    Lawyer up
    Jan 17 8
    • Twitter SofH55
      Honestly consider it, there are ways to do it without spending much or anything. A lot of employment lawyers (and lawyers in general) including the very good ones will do a free consultation either in person or on the phone. You can talk to them about the offer and they can tell you whether they think they could negotiate or help. Sometimes even just an email from a lawyer (because they know you’re more serious) will cause them to adjust and you may be able to negotiate either a reasonable flat fee or a % of the increase from the lawyer
      Jan 17
    • Microsoft Gambini
      If all else fails go there in person to see someone from HR!
      Jan 17
    • Shopify / Mgmt
      he8371jf

      Shopify Mgmt

      PRE
      Apple
      he8371jfmore
      DO NOT ask r/legaladvice. They are morons.

      Just talk directly to a lawyer.

      Any decent one will offer a consultation for free.

      Talk to a few, not just one, and then decide how to proceed.
      Jan 17
    • Booking.com ProudlyB
      Firstly you can contact Human Resources - they are the team usually that manages these types of processes.

      You are well within your rights to approach your manager, his manager and Human Resources in same email and request feedback to your answers as no one is responding.

      I’d take this step first and see response. Depending on response see legal advice - as correctly pointed out most first consults are free but if you have to think about what advice they will give u -

      1. Accept offer - no cost to litigate
      2. Try and negotiate without lawyer - they don’t respond so no result
      3. Negotiate with lawyer and you may increase your severance but also you will increase cost of getting higher amount
      4. Challenge severance or layoff legally (where law may not protect you sufficiently to successfully challenge it and as such you have to pay legal fees and you lose time,effort and are still paid the same severance;
      5. You win and make lots of money after a long period of time challenging it.

      Those are possible outcomes - they are not great outcomes save for 5. Thus easiest option is try and negotiate if not settle and move on - don’t waste time on negative stuff - life is too short...

      Good luck
      Jan 17
    • RackWare Dreamlight
      @New do you really think OP knows better than a lawyer? Most offer a free consultation too. Why not make the best of it?
      Jan 18
  • MediaMath / Eng noseyplums
    Take a red marker (or electronic equivalent thereof). Edit the T&C to your satisfaction. Place your initials next to each edit. Put your signature on the edited version. Mail it back to them using certified mail.

    They face two choices:
    1. Spend lawyer time telling you off.
    2. Sign your version and send it back to you.

    What else have you got to lose?
    Jan 17 15
    • Facebook AnastasiaB
      Lol inviting a lawsuit? Over what? If you red-line their agreement, sign it and send it back, they’ll just not accept it and you’re left with nothing. You don’t have a case - layoffs aren’t illegal - accept the severance and spend your time finding a new job instead of trying to figure out how to game this.
      Jan 17
    • LinkedIn Pongal
      Lol what he has “got to lose” is his severance pay. People get laid off all the time. It sucks but sometimes they were a bad fit or something else. At least he got some sort of severance.

      Op shouldn’t waste energy feeding the crazy and sleazy lawyers in plaid suits made out of motel drapes. Unless Op is a complete disaster (which does not appear to be) he should calm down and plan out how to get his next gig. It’s bad advice to get him to waste energy chasing Bigfoot.
      Jan 17
    • Microsoft justajob
      Serious question, if the company can just ignore the employee response and not pay out, then why are companies even offering severance? Or why not just offer $1?
      Jan 17
    • Facebook AnastasiaB
      1. The company offers it in exchange for a release of liability agreement (aka you can’t sue them)

      2. To help the person land on their feet. In a lay-off situation, many companies also offer career placement services, healthcare coverage, etc.
      Jan 17
    • Broadcom Ltd. rFkd21
      I have redlined employment and (I think) severance contracts where the company had put in place severe overreach and they knew it (they wanted to own IP I had developed before joining the company). No negative consequences I can ascertain.
      Jan 18
  • Apple / HR SnVL04
    Ex-TC and lump sum or GTFO? Always wondered how much they gave in these situations. Is it like 3 months salary? 4?
    Jan 17 6
    • Google youngturd
      'TC or GTFO' is the language of Blind.

      ..so TC, or GTFO.
      Jan 17
    • BlackRock Lary
      OP
      Just cause most people are jerks you don’t have to follow suit ... it’s harder to be nice than to be a jack ass
      Jan 17
    • eBay / Eng
      mDBW53

      eBay Eng

      PRE
      NVIDIA
      mDBW53more
      When I was laid off from NVIDIA 10 years ago I think it was 2 weeks pay instead of two weeks notice. Two weeks pay. And two weeks pay per year of employment. And a couple of other things. My severance ended up being almost 1/5th of my yearly salary despite only being there for 14 months.
      Jan 17
    • Facebook lyfer
      It varies a lot by company and most will offer a few weeks to a few months, with primary variables being the company base amount, adjustments for tenure, abruptness of dismissal, and/or level of position.
      Jan 17
    • Amazon Hhjg
      I was offered 18 weeks for 8 years tenure
      Jan 22
  • New DuQvV7x
    You’re not in a position of strength so they don’t have to negotiate.

    You can reject the terms and try your luck with the legal system.

    Unless you have an egregious violation, the approach is rarely successful.

    Kinda sucks, but that’s the system we have
    Jan 17 12
    • Google / Mgmt starlight1
      ^ stop scaring the OP
      Jan 18
    • Apple XBue76
      Do NOT claim damage due to discrimination if there was NO discrimination.

      Please don’t listen to such careless, irresponsible advice based on “that’s how the game is played” sentiments. That is NOT how the game is played. Don’t ruin your reputation or your moral compass for a few bucks here & there.

      Lawyer up if needed. Do the right thing and fight for your rights. Demand what you think you deserve. But don’t play these stupid games.
      Jan 18
    • Apple XBue76
      @Starlight1: Please stop being the loud mouthed idiot giving terrible advice to folks on the internet.
      Jan 18
    • Thumbtack helloTT
      The laws around this are different depending on the state you’re in, so Washington is going to have different laws than California, and they’re certainly going to be different in NY, being from black rock, I wouldn’t take anyone’s advice from Microsoft or anyone from silicone valley.
      Jan 18
    • Google / Mgmt starlight1
      These discrimination laws already are very unfair thanks to SJWs. Countless minorities already misuse it to their profit. Honestly more people need to misuse them so that the issue becomes jarringly obvious and hopefully reformed. Stop being the idiot scaring the OP.
      Jan 18
  • New tagged
    You can’t just negotiate on the terms of your Lay-off. It’s a take it or leave it severance
    Jan 17 6
    • Google / Eng imp0st3r
      What did you start with and what did you end up with after the negotiating was finished?
      Jan 17
    • Stripe / Eng su4178
      I obviously can’t discuss specifics. But both times I’ve gotten about 25% more monetarily, plus some other non-monetary terms I added. They agreed to all of it on first try which probably means I could have asked for more, but obviously not having much leverage in the situation made me more inclined to be conservative.
      Jan 17
    • Palantir AXjw66
      This is not true at all. I have personally negotiated severance package terms and compensation previously and know many others that have as well. You're leaving a lot on the table if you accept a company's first severance package offer.
      Jan 17
    • New tagged
      Wow that’s good to know. Guess I was wrong 😁 about negotiations
      Jan 17
    • Flagged by the community.

  • Microsoft The PFJ
    You are very naive
    Jan 17 3
    • BlackRock Lary
      OP
      And what’s your expert advice ?
      Jan 17
    • Uber / Eng
      Rqwx5o

      Uber Eng

      PRE
      Google
      Rqwx5omore
      Whats your negotiating position? You'll say "pleaseee"? Or maybe you'll threaten to quit if they don't meet your demands?
      Jan 17
    • Microsoft ChodaBoy
      HR has decided it, you have no position. Look external asap. Be an adult.
      Jan 17
  • Facebook Almostdone
    Do you have any lever to negotiate?
    Jan 17 5
    • BlackRock Lary
      OP
      Nope ... I wasn’t fired so can’t say discrimination
      Jan 17
    • Amazon wgSD36
      In order to not face a tax penalty a company must follow strict rules in order to claim they are performing a layoff.

      https://definitions.uslegal.com/l/layoff/

      If you feel they are in violation and you can prove it then lawyer up.

      I got more money out of a company because they laid me off right before I went on pre approved paid leave.

      If you don't have something like that. Take what they give you and move on.
      Jan 17
    • eBay / Eng
      mDBW53

      eBay Eng

      PRE
      NVIDIA
      mDBW53more
      I was literally laid off the day before I was going to take one vacation day (first one too since I joined). Are you saying that because of that timing I could have sued them?
      Jan 17
    • Amazon wgSD36
      Paid leave isn't the same as vacation but they should have paid out your vacation. Depending on the state I believe they are required to compensate you for unpaid vacation at time of layoff
      Jan 17
    • Microsoft richardhea
      Unless you work for a sweat shop which offers “unlimited” vacation. Then you get paid nothing.
      🍆
      Jan 18
  • Microsoft pNki53
    You only have one choice. Shut down the government.
    Jan 17 0
  • Facebook newkidz
    Didnt know you can negotiate layoffs lol.

    My rulebook says expect nothing. Quite honestly I cant justify why Id deserve a severance package. I got paid throughout my work and I did the work.
    Jan 17 0
  • Google eJth83
    If you’re in CA you’re considered at will. You’re effed. Get the severance, pick up your boot straps and get another job. I did it. You can too.
    Jan 17 4
    • SAP wppmd
      Was this pre or post Google? Also, how did you mention this in your next interview?
      Jan 17
    • Google eJth83
      Pre. I interviewed at the same company for another position and they bridged my start date. So no need to explain gap. Tenured individuals generally understand how lay-offs work; not uncommon at all.
      Jan 17
    • SAP wppmd
      For sure. Good that you found another position in the same company & they bridged your start date. Slightly different case if/ when interviewing with another company - hence my (original) question. Anyway, thanks for answering.
      Jan 17
    • Google eJth83
      Right, makes sense. It’s not impossible to get something within same company at all, especially if you’ve built your network.
      Jan 18
  • LinkedIn Pongal
    @Op I mean this kindly, what is there to negotiate? I mean they laid you off. What is there to negotiate? W/O knowing more my guess is you’re “negotiating” against Corben Dallas in the 5th Element. They just put terms like “negotiate” there because you are of course free to reject their offer. That is the extent of your negotiating ability in this circumstance. Sorry man.

    Also the best advice I can give you is to take your severance and what you learned and be successful at your next play. Don’t let these idiots here convince you to waste any further emotional energy chasing the past.

    Also unless they stripped you naked and rode you around like a pony on Facebook Live...hiring a lawyer is worse than useless. Don’t listen to these poltroons and shit house lawyers and their bad advice. Hiring an employment lawyer will also 99% get you black balled for life in the Valley.
    Jan 17 2
    • Wayfair 1234abc123
      Multipass.
      Jan 17
    • New / Product
      dangnabbit

      New Product

      PRE
      Microsoft
      dangnabbitmore
      This is the only advice you should be listening to, OP. Unless the T&C is overreaching into IP you developed before or after your employment just take the money and move on with your life. That kind of overreaching is unenforceable anyway...just take the money and move on.
      Jan 20
  • Cisco / Other x.
    What leverage do you think you have?
    Jan 18 3
    • Stripe / Eng su4178
      Lots. It costs $20-30k to recruit an engineer. If you make a blog post that goes viral about the incident, you could reduce their offer acceptance rates. At a company of this size, even a few percentage points can greatly increase recruitment costs. Gag clauses in severance greatly diminishes that risk.
      Jan 18
    • Microsoft / Sales
      🍻n🌮

      Microsoft Sales

      PRE
      Dimension Data
      🍻n🌮more
      If you have that kind of social influence, they wouldn’t be laying you off.
      Jan 21
    • Cisco / Other detroiooi
      ^ this
      Jan 22
  • Stripe / Eng su4178
    I have successfully negotiated severance twice. You need to keep it super light and happy, and DO NOT formally reject their offer. You need to say you’d propose some adjustments.

    One of the times I negotiated they did ghost me the first week (which it did say needed to be signed in 7 days), and I just kindly followed up a couple of times. That worked. And they sent back a new agreement with everything I asked for. It is a legal document, so it may take a while for them to process it as various depts may need to approve it.

    I would follow up daily until they reply. If they keep ghosting you, you’ll have to decide whether to sign (and hope they still agree) or leave it.

    It’s worth consulting a lawyer (like $300-$500) for them to walk you through everything. Because sometimes they can include non-competes and other clauses that may make it not worthwhile and you may not fully understand what everything means.
    Jan 17 3
    • Wayfair 1234abc123
      Why would they ever respond to you if they can just wait until the terms of the letter expire and then pay you nothing? Seems stupid of them to give you anything. Just wait it out and you get zero.
      Jan 17
    • Stripe / Eng su4178
      Because they never had to give you severance in the first place. The amount of leverage you have after those 7 days is no different to what you had before they offered severance.

      The reason they offer it is because it gives them control. You won’t be able to speak to the media, you won’t be able to join a class-action suit against them. In some cases, you won’t be able to work for a direct competitor.

      Essentially, it gives them peace of mind. Even if you file a frivolous lawsuit, it takes up a lot more resources than if they offer you a small severance package. It is still in their best interest that you sign.
      Jan 17
    • Amazon LoanerBadg
      By that logic, they don't have to offer you any severence in the first place. The fact that they do mean there is a ultimate benifit to them if you accept it.
      Jan 17
  • Wayfair 1234abc123
    This thread is a garbage fire.
    Jan 17 2
    • LinkedIn Pongal
      Exactly. It’s pitiful...
      Jan 17
    • Intuit PureGuava
      It’s Blind.
      Jan 19
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Disney / Other
      Nipha

      Disney Other

      PRE
      Autodesk, PopSugar
      Niphamore
      Does it give you some kind of perverse pleasure to kick people over their misfortunes? You should 1., read up on how American businesses control expenses when under shareholder pressure, and 2., go see a therapist.
      Jan 17
  • Facebook PM45
    If you are over 40 years old, you actually have 21 days instead of 7
    Jan 17 0
  • REI opt-out
    You're lucky they are offering anything. Take the cash and get another job. Pretty simple
    Jan 18 0
  • Uber
    🌴

    Uber

    PRE
    Uber
    🌴 more
    Were they an at will employer? If so, they don’t have to give you anything. You could take them to courts but you could end up getting nothing.
    Jan 17 1
    • Intuit / Eng
      j123x

      Intuit Eng

      PRE
      Cisco, Verizon, Oracle
      j123xmore
      Yep. Take the deal and run.
      Jan 17
  • Facebook job-huntin
    I recommend investing ur energy and anger in finding a new job. In your mind tell them “in your face” after finding a new job. You will be much happier.
    Jan 18 0
  • Facebook 8O8St8
    Figure out your rights, if any. Then decide whether the stress and bitterness is worth pursuing this any further. Or, accept, learn and move on up.

    You're a disposable commodity (I'm sorry if this stings) and you entered into a business contract with this company. This is all it is about. Try not to take it personally. There are better things to be spending your time on during this period, such as evaluating your strengths and seeing how they can be applied to new or different roles.
    Jan 17 0