If I’m currently position is being eliminated, can I decline the new position and say it’s not a good fit and force them to lay me off?

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If I’m currently position is being eliminated, can I decline the new position and say it’s not a good fit and force them to lay me off?

My position is going away and a new function is being formed with new job titles. My company wants to fit me into one of the new roles, however I want to get laid off and get a package.

Asked on January 29, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) No, you can't decline the new position, unless you had a written employment contract defining your position. Without a contract, you are an "employee at will", and one consequence of that is that your emloyer may transfer you to different positions or jobs, and define your duties and title, at will; your job is whatever they say it is, and they don't need to take your wishes or opinion into account. If yiu decline the position, that will be treated as a resignation (so no unemployment, for example).
2) The law does not require severance or layoff packages; it is voluntary for a company to offer one. Being voluntary, they can define the eligibility rules, or who gets it, and refuse it to people who decline new positions.


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