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After 15 years it's over

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by highlander, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. highlander

    highlander Member

    Been working at the same company for 15 years. Today, due to the company's financial woes my job was eliminated. I had been covering two high schools for a twice-a-week paper, two more for a weekly and two more for two weeklies.

    I knew I was in trouble when, as I'm waiting for the meeting that was supposed to be at 4:30 p.m. the CFO comes up and tells me he needs to see me in the back. Pretty much was told my position had been eliminated. No severance, no paying me for 160 or so hours of vacation time.

    Just sucks to work and do so much for those papers only to be escorted out by the CFO like I was going to do something. The CFO is a good guy, now the other guy, isn't.

    What really amazes me is these guys had no answers for me about my health insurance, 401K or anything. You would think the HR person would have been in there.

    Guess the next step is to file for unemployment and start looking for something. A nice 9-to-5 job might be a change of pace.
  2. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I'm very, very sorry.
  3. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    Well if you have the shoulder of those two hot blondes in your avatar to cry on, you should at least have one helluva night......

    Seriously, though, this sucks for you and I really hope that you can come through this and find something better and whatnot.

    I am always amazed when I read these stories at the lack of humanity and deceny these corporate hacks always seem to display.
  4. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Highlander, are you sure you can't get that vacation money? I had only been at my place for 18 months before getting laid-off, but they had to pay me the two weeks vacation they owed me, along with the four sick days I never took.
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    If you earned the vacation time through company policy (IE: Every 120 hours worked entitles you to 8 hours vacation), they have to pay it. Period.
  6. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Depending where you are, denying you accrued vacation time may be a violation of labor law. Under typical labor law, it's essentially a form of deferred compensation. (In other words, if you're paid 12 dollars an hour and get two weeks of vacation a year, then each week you earn 12x40=480 dollars a week, plus 80/52=1.54 hours of vacation.) And once you've earned the vacation time, it can't be taken away, anymore than they could refuse to pay you for the days you worked this week before they laid you off.

    In some cases, it's not worth pursuing the "little" stuff, because it can jeopardize a severance package. In your case, though, you appear to have nothing to lose. Check your state's labor laws, find an employment lawyer if you can and see what you can do.

    And, of course, best of luck.
  7. highlander

    highlander Member

    I talked two lawyers, neither of them is an employment lawyer, but they weren't sure if they owed me vacation time. I'm really not even sure how much I built. They told another guy who was let go to call the HR person.

    It is strange to anyone else that I didn't have to sign anything?
  8. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    I don't have experience with this particular issue, but I think during typical layoffs, you're signing something that says you won't pursue a claim or speak ill of the company in return for a severance. As they're not giving you anything, you probably don't have to promise them anything.

    Pretty sure you're entitled to that time. And if it's as much as you say, that's a healthy chunk of change.
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Teh google seems to think that vacation pay is a state-by-state thing.
  10. goalmouth

    goalmouth Active Member

    Sorry to hear, HL, hope you're back on the beam soon.
  11. highlander

    highlander Member

    I believe Texas being a right to work state has me screwed on the vacation thing.
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Shouldn't matter. If they give it to you, you aren't entitled to cash it out. If you earn it, you get it. The difference is in how the company handles it.
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