- Posts: 2751
- Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 11:43 pm
I will get the maximum severance based on my years - so 52 additional weeks of pay - so I'd only be in reality missing a few months of pay until my planned retirement at 65, as that pay won't run out until in 2017. But the fact that the corporation - owned by Europeans since 2004 - didn't have the courtesy of letting me have the "dignity" of deciding my own retirement date - that's what really sucks. Wife commented that letting me just retire at age 65 would’ve meant like them getting almost 2 years work from me with very little added cost.
I knew something suspicious was up a few hours earlier when I got a meeting notice on Outlook from a Vice President not in my chain of command - my first E-mail ever from her - and the topic was that she "had something to share with me. Thanks.", so I was rightfully suspicious.
The VP turned me over to an HR person I didn't know (sharing the dirty work), and she wanted to discuss "outplacement services", and I informed her that very few 63+ folks are hired in the job market, and especially employers in my field are scarce in in Arizona, and I wasn't going to relocate for another year of work. I think it took them both by surprise because I wasn't too surprised: my age, their US R&D has shrunk for several years. Folks who leave are not being replaced, our travel budget is zero, appears all stuff will be run from Europe (of course, two high-ranking Europeans did come over to US to speak to us so far in 2016, but remember it is winter in Europe). I was likely the highest paid scientist too, even won their career achievement award a few years ago for scientific advances, pretty funny. I think that in itself will kill morale way more: ditching their top scientist months before retirement.
At least I'm financially better off than most of the other folks let go (a fair amount of that security from fixing stuff myself and driving "vintage" vehicles over the years); the HR person asked me if I "was OK" to walk back to my office by myself. I responded that I was NOT going to go postal or anything, and HR person responded that statement "was inappropriate". I stopped her and said: "no, the company is who is inappropriate, in the way they are treating me after the career I've had here".
I looked up age discrimination, seems that since 2009 unless someone has been hassled/treated badly by supervisors/others because of age or maybe directly replaced with someone younger, that Supreme Court decided that it was just a fact that older workers do get paid more, so age alone doesn’t qualify. And if I fight, that gives the company a tiny victory by having me "want" to stay with them. Co-worker and I have discussed a few times that if the Henkel offered a voluntary package that it would be time to listen (they've had three such planned voluntary retirements in the last 6 years, and reduced staff in addition if enough did not volunteer for that). Had our director or HR discuss that our department would have a staff reduction, and asked for volunteers to take the package, maybe I would've been heroic and accepted that to save someone else's job, but I wasn't even given that courtesy...
It turns out that 5 others from R&D had their jobs eliminated yesterday too, and of course 2015 profits WERE record highs too. But the company is very greedy. The Americans here are afraid to question anything, the Europeans want Europeans to run everything, feel that they’re better than Americans. This cut was about 8% of remaining R&D, doesn't count the 3 who left Laundry development and a high-level in the last month.
I'll stay on this site, so don't subtract my years from the running list of experiences!