Author Topic: Offered a severance option, should I take it?  (Read 4328 times)


  • Bristles
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Offered a severance option, should I take it?
« on: May 04, 2013, 07:22:07 AM »
Some background:  I'm a 38 year old engineer, in the midst of a mid-life philosophical crisis, single, no dependents working for a fortune 500 company.  I suffered a debilitating repetitive stress injury last year from which I am currently recovering.  My liquid assets are roughly $500k (~$130k Roth Ira, $130k in 401k, ~25k in cash balance penion plan, and the rest in stock, cash and mutual funds.  Current annual expenses are ~$26k, and I have roommate income currently good for $6k/yr.  Liabilities are $92k on a 5/1 arm at (2.25%), and $30k at 0% I had just borrowed from bank of Dad to close the refinance with negative equity.  I had agreed to repay that at $750/month, and he would in all likelihood be willing to work with me on that (assuming he approves of my decision; I haven't discussed it with him yet).  Also, I just spent $28k on solar panels, for which I am expecting a $5k rebate from the power company.  I had been planning to take advantage of 65% tax credits to justify the return, but that requires some income to have liability to offset against.  I'd like to downshift a little bit, and this may just be the opportunity I've been looking for.  Work has been rewarding, but I haven't been able to meet all of my manager's expectations without sacrificing my recovery, which I don't really want to do.  Current salary is $75k; severance offer is 4 months.  The alternative is a development plan which is a bit burdensome given my current condition.  Other than the home investment, I'm theoretically mobile.  I need to decide this by Monday morning.  Any input, thoughts or questions would be appreciated.  Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 11:30:36 AM by Emg03063 »


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Offered a severance option, should I take it?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 09:05:40 AM »
What are your other employment prospects?  If you get 4 months severance that gets you 56k gross for the year if you do no other work, yeah?  Which is not an insignificant amount to get a tax liability knocked off of.  But what is the likelihood you could do/find other work over the next 7 months and at what compensation?


  • Guest
Re: Offered a severance option, should I take it?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 09:51:05 AM »
Sounds like you're getting canned, start looking for new job immediately, take severance. 4 months should be plenty

Because when offered a "development plan" they are identifying you as "guy were trying to fire", much easier for your résumé/references to survive a layoff/severance than the latter. Take it, immediately
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 10:28:39 AM by Joet »


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Offered a severance option, should I take it?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 12:36:16 PM »
As a retired HR manager I'd say you are between the carrot and the stick.  It sounds like you won't be able to meet their development plan and will likely be fired.  You could try to play the ADA card but even it you're disabled you still have to be able to perform the essential duties of your position.  Reading between the lines, you can't at this point.  If you can't articulate a reasonable accommodation that would enable you to adequately perform your job then take the severance pay and leave quietly


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  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Offered a severance option, should I take it?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 01:27:53 PM »
You are on your way out anyway.  Severances can be negotiated.  See if you can negotiate for 6 months severance for you to become healthy again and find a new job.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Offered a severance option, should I take it?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 01:47:43 PM »
Was your injury caused by your job?

If not, ask about a 6-month severance, but happily accept the 4 months if they balk at all, and move on. Wishing you a speedy recovery!


  • Bristles
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Re: Offered a severance option, should I take it?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2013, 02:03:34 PM »
My initial injury wasn't caused by the job, but it was severely exacerbated by it (tough to prove), as I had agreed to run an experiment for a hot project after reporting the injury but before getting medical attention, and what turned into a 22 hour workday turned a relatively minor injury into a relatively major one.  The company did recently agree to put in a worker's comp claim on the case, which was denied by their insurance carrier.  I haven't pursued an appeal yet.