Employment Law Attorneys

Will GE Employees Be Relocated or Laid Off in January 2016?2 min read

general-electric_416x416The General Electric Company, headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, is leaving town and the state to avoid a substantial tax increase being imposed by the Democratic Governor. http://www.wsj.com/articles/ge-postpones-decision-on-moving-connecticut-headquarters-1450540423 GE is the largest taxpayer in town and one of the largest in the state.  In January 2016, 800 local employees will learn the fate of their employment. Will these employees be relocated to Boston or New York or laid off?  Will the company issue a WARN notice? https://www.doleta.gov/programs/factsht/warn.htm
It is a sure bet that a number of employees will be laid off.  When Conagra Foods decided to relocate in October 2015, the company cut 1500 jobs. Kraft Heinz also cut 2500 jobs when it relocated.   http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-conagra-headquarters-chicago-1002-biz-20151001-story.html.  Given GE’s ongoing dismal stock performance http://performance.morningstar.com/stock/performance-return.action?t=GE,  job cuts will be used to help bolster the value of the stock.
We know two important facts about GE, they have an arbitration policy (by agreement), but they do not have a severance plan (See http://freeerisa.benefitspro.com/default-loggedin.aspx for free plan information) entitling employees to a set amount of weeks per years of service in exchange for a full release of claims.  If you are one of the unlikely employees laid off, do not expect severance but do expect the company to compel you into arbitration if you decide to file suit for wrongful termination.  The arbitration policy was initiated after the company received a jury verdict for $10,000,000 a few years back. GE deliberately eliminated any further legal claim information from the internet and the courts; the type of information I search for every day. In effect, GE silenced any and all employee complaints about the company from public knowledge.
Even though GE does not have a severance plan, they do maintain a severance policy or practice, and you should negotiate the severance amount being offered.  Please remember, you will be asked to sign a lengthy severance agreement, waiving all legal rights.
For more information, please contact Mark Carey at 203-255-4150 or info@capclaw.com.

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