Texas – Regarding severence benefits when company outsources

Been at an employer for over 35 years. Recently was told that office facilities will now be outsoured to a different company and that an offer letter will be sent. Was told that I have to accept whatever offer is given or I do not get any severance. I cannot find literature on this in any of my handbooks or policies. What rights do I have?

Asked on July 13, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no right to severance: the law simply does not require any severance UNLESS you have a written employment (or union) contract requiring severance. Otherwise, it is voluntary on the part of the employer--they can offer you whatever they want, or even refuse to offer you anything. 
If they want you to sign something in exchange for the severance, which is common, such as an agreement to not sue them, make sure it's worth doing that. If you can't think of any viable legal claim you might have (e.g. do not believe you were discriminated against due to race, age over 40, religion, sex, disability,  color or national origin), then you would not be really giving anything up--so so sign such an agreement and take your money. But if you believe you may have a viable legal claim or lawsuit, such as for discrimination, don't sign an agreement to not sue unless you are receiving enough severance for doing so as to make it wortwhile to give up your potential claims.


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