Severance: What the Contract Guarantees

Severance Benefits

The following information may be found in Articles VI and VII of the IAPE/DJ Collective Agreement . . .

Extended Medical Coverage/COBRA. Employees laid off due to automation, outsourcing, job elimination, or reduction in force will be eligible for a Company-provided subsidy of their medical and dental coverage provided under COBRA, at the same premium cost as if they were still active employees, until they become eligible for medical coverage under another employer's plan or for such additional coverage period as defined below, whichever comes first. Probationary employees laid off within nine (9) months of hire shall receive full notice required by this Article and shall receive three (3) weeks of severance pay and COBRA premium subsidy until the end of the month after the month in which the layoff occurs. For employees past their probationary period, extended medical benefits shall be equal to one month of extended benefits per year of service, with a minimum of three (3) months and a maximum of twelve (12) months.

Retraining Allowance and Outplacement Services. If an Employee who has completed nine months of employment is terminated as part of a reduction in force, or due to automation or outsourcing, the Company will provide a retraining education allowance and/or outplacement assistance as provided below. To use a retraining education allowance, the Employee must apply for admission to the school within six (6) months from the date of termination and must have completed the courses for which he or she has enrolled within two (2) years from the date of enrollment. Payments for educational assistance will be paid directly to the educational institution selected by the Employee. If the Employee withdraws from the program, any refund for tuition, up to the amount of the allowance paid by Dow Jones, will be paid to the Company.

In cases of outsourcing or replacement by automation:
9-18 months — $3,000 retraining allowance + Level 1 outplacement
18 months-3 years — $6,000 retraining allowance + Level 1 outplacement
3-5 years — $9,000 retraining allowance + Level 2 outplacement
5+ years — $12,000 retraining allowance + Level 2 outplacement

In cases of reductions in force or job elimination:
9-18 months — Level 1 outplacement
18 months-3 years — Level 2 outplacement
3-5 years — $3,500 retraining allowance + Level 1 outplacement
5+ years — $5,000 retraining allowance + Level 2 outplacement

Severance Pay. In the event of dismissal of a full-time or part-time Employee for refusal to relocate pursuant to Article V of this Agreement, or pursuant to a decision by the Company to reduce the size of its staff or eliminate a job function, the Company agrees that such Employee shall be paid a sum of money determined on the following basis:

If dismissed during the first nine (9) months of employment: no notice or payment other than wages due at the time of dismissal except as provided in Article VI, Section C.

If the period of employment is:
(a) Nine months but less than eighteen months: six weeks' wages.
(b) Eighteen months but less than three years: eight weeks' wages.
(c) Three years but less than five years: ten weeks' wages.
(d) Five years but less than twenty years: two weeks' wages for each full year of service, with a minimum of twelve weeks.
(e) One and one-half weeks' additional wages for each six months of employment over twenty years up to a maximum in the aggregate, of fifty-two weeks' wages.

If the dismissal is a layoff due to outsourcing, the Employee will receive full severance pay as provided above, plus an additional four (4) weeks' wages.

Sale of business unit or transfer to new Employer. In all cases where an employee is offered a substantially comparable position with a purchaser or outsourcer, no severance pay shall be due ifthe employee accepts the position. If the employee declines the position, then half-severance will be paid, along with full benefits, retraining and outplacement.

Release Requirement. As a condition of receiving severance benefits provided for anywhere in this Agreement, the Employee must execute a general Release of claims against the Company. The Union will retain all rights to file grievances and proceed to arbitration according to the terms of the contract regarding any claimed contract violation. The Employee's release of claims will specifically exclude claims arising under a collective bargaining agreement as well as claims for workers' compensation benefits and unemployment benefits.

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