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Severance Pay Issues for 30,000 employees laid off by Bank of America

above-the-bar-logo-no12.jpgBank of America (“BofA”) recently announced that it started to layoff employees as part of its restructuring plan to eliminate 30,000 jobs “over the next few years.” With the massive layoff, BofA hopes to save $5 billion per year. However, this means that you as well as many of your colleagues will need to find new employment. Not knowing how long that may take, it is crucial to leave your former employer with the best possible severance package to cushion yourself till you find your next job.

Bank of America is a multinational banking and financial services company and the second largest U.S. bank holding company by assets. It is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina and serves clients in over 150 countries. Along with Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, BofA is considered to be on the Big Four Banks in the country. With the European debt crisis and sluggish U.S. economy, many banks and financial companies are terminating thousands of employees to cut costs.

We have counseled many former banking and financial sector employees who have been laid off. As each situation is different, contact us to learn about your specific termination rights at your workplace. The following are some general tips to keep in mind when being laid off:

  • Stay calm and don’t say anything you might regret. Remember that you will probably need your old manager or supervisor for a reference when you start looking for another job. They might even be able to refer you to someone they know at another company looking for someone with your skills. In other words, don’t burn your bridges when you get laid off.
  • Your employer is not required to give you a severance package but the growing tendency today is to provide a separation package. Companies use this as a way to preemptively avoid any risk of employees suing for wrongful termination, discrimination, or sexual harassment. Make sure you are not signing away any claims you might have against the company based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, or retaliation. For example, out of the 500 highest earning people who were laid off, were they also all the older employees? Every situation is different and will depend on the facts. Consult with an attorney to make sure you are not signing away rights and that you are getting the best possible severance package. Our Attorneys have helped many laid off employees use their potential claims as leverage to negotiate a better severance package.
  • With rising health care costs, extended health insurance is a very important issue that could cost you thousands. If your former employer has more than 20 employees and offers your health insurance, except in very limited circumstances, it must offer you the opportunity to continue health insurance coverage at your expense for 18 months. This may still be cheaper than you finding an individual policy so make sure you ask for it.
  • If you are offered a severance package, be wary of any non-compete or non-disclosure clauses. You don’t want to limit your ability to get another job. Our attorneys can help you determine the enforceability and fairness of any such clauses.

These are just a few considerations to keep in mind if you are laid off. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of terminated employees know their rights and obtain the best possible separation packages. If you have recently been laid off, call our Severance Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you make sure you are aware of all your legal options.

Disclaimer: 

Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

Sources:

Bank of America Confirms 30,000 Layoffs, ABC News Bank of America Cutting 30,000 Jobs, CNN Money