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Buyout/severance question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SoBeOrNotSoBe, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. SoBeOrNotSoBe

    SoBeOrNotSoBe Member

    So my wife is being involuntarily bought out by McClatchy. (I survived, for now.) A little background: We arrived at our current paper, which has been McClatchy all along, five years ago. Our previous paper was a Knight-Ridder joint.

    Now we're being told that her severance will account for time served only at the current paper, even though she has five more years in K-R -- which of course was swallowed by McClatchy a few years ago.

    We were fed some line from our heartless EE and our HR director about "last hire date" being the determining factor. We're thinking about lawyering up. If there are examples out there of folks who are being compensated for K-R years that came before they left for McClatchy, we'd love to know about them. It would essentially make our case. Knowledge is power in these sad times.

    Our argument is this: McClatchy assumed EVERYTHING when it ate K-R. If you worked at, say, The Miami Herald from 1998 to 2003, then went to the Fresno Bee, then McClatchy bought K-R a couple years later, then McClatchy decided to buy you out, shouldn't you be credited for 10 years' service? After all, if the same person stayed in Miami the whole time, he or she would be credited for 10 years under both companies.

    Anyone? Thanks!
     
  2. WazzuGrad00

    WazzuGrad00 Guest

    I don't think it works that way.

    I would think your years of service ended when you left the K-R paper.
    If you had been at the K-R paper when it was bought by McClatchy, you'd get credit.
     
  3. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Key line. That person didn't stay in Miami. That person moved. You don't get to claim you worked for Knight-Ridder during a period of time when Knight-Ridder still existed and you weren't working for them.
     
  4. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    I don't think you have a leg to stand on. It would have only mattered if you were still at the K-R paper at the time of the acquisition.

    IIRC, the late Shelby Strother had escaped Gannett many years ago, then was sucked back in by the Detroit acquisition. If the purchase has happened a month earlier, he would have retained his pension/vacation/etc. perks, but instead he had to start all over.

    That's not exactly the same as your situation, but the concept is pretty close.
     
  5. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    You changed jobs. Tenure at one place ended, tenure at next place began. It wasn't like you were "transferred" within an existing chain.

    If you lawyer up over five year's worth of credit toward any severance, you will spend most or all of that additional money (and maybe more to boot) on the attorney. And you will most likely lose.
     
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    In college, I worked for a business that, on my first day of hire, had been sold to a larger company. At the meeting to announce the sale, employees were told that it was their first day at the new company, and that all vacation time, and benefits were to be earned from that moment on.

    I would think that you don't have a case here for anything more than five years.
     
  7. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Does the paper honor employees with service awards? If so that might set a precedent for how they determine total service. Most companies bridge for award purposes - for example if you were at paper 10 years in 2008 - 5 yrs owed by previos owner - you would be honored for 10 years of service.

    A good friend of mine hung his organization on just that. Company wanted to cash him out and only provide credit for his service under new ownership which was 10 years.

    He walked into HR with a letter from company President that was sent to him previous year congratulating him on his 20 years of loyal service with xxxxxx company. Company backed down and gave everyone full credit for service rendered.
     
  8. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I'd sue and hope they give you money just to go away.
     
  9. VJ

    VJ Member

    But would they give him more money than the legal fees? Doubtful.
     
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    If you can find a lawyer who will just take a percentage. I don't know if you can for a situation like this.

    I do know someone in the business who they tried to lay off about five years ago. He sued for age discrimination. They settled it by letting him keep his job. There have been three rounds of buyouts/layoffs since and he's never been let go.
     
  11. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    Not sure I've ever heard of a severance package that included time worked at another paper, even if its within the same company.
    You only get credit for time served at the current paper.
    Just accept it as a hard fact of life.
    Then again, what do I know, September will mark 19 years for me at the same paper.
     
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    If it's the same chain, it should count.
     
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