Worker claims entitlement to benefits under severance agreement

It is difficult for workers when they lose their jobs, regardless of the reasons. Some companies may offer employees a severance agreement in an effort to give them some income while they attempt to find new employment. When Texas workers are denied this money without just cause, some may choose to stand up and try to claim what they believe is rightfully owed to them.

A former medical technologist for Quest Diagnostics is claiming the company told her that, due to the reason for her termination, they had the right to deny her severance package. The plaintiff claims she was informed that her position would require her to report for work earlier in the morning. If she did not, she was allegedly told that her firing would be considered voluntary. She alleges that her managers knew that, due to taking care of her disabled daughter, she was unable to come into work that early. She told the company that she had no intention of quitting, but was given notice that she would lose her job two weeks later.

She allegedly tried to find another position within the company that would accommodate her schedule, but was unable to do so. She believed that her termination was considered involuntary, which she believed made her eligible for severance payments under company policy. Quest denied her severance pay and stated that her inability to work the hours required by her position was not considered an event that would grant her severance. She appealed the determination, but the company upheld its decision.

The worker filed a claim against the company, accusing it of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. She is also asking for the severance benefits she believes she is owed plus interest. Texas workers who believe they are eligible for a severance agreement under company policy have the right expect the agreement to be honored. If there is a discrepancy and the employees are denied, they may choose to file claims against their employers in an effort to receive the funds to which they believe they are entitled.

Source:, "Suit: Former medical lab worker denied severance after shift change forced termination", Jim Boyle, Jan. 13, 2015