Under a “Force Management Plan” (FMP) adopted by Lucent in July 2001, employees who were downsized..

Under a “Force Management Plan” (FMP) adopted by Lucent in July 2001, employees who were downsized would receive severance pay and other benefits. Employees were told that the facility that they worked at would be closing and that they “should consider themselves FMP’d at some future date.” A couple of months later, and prior to closure of the facility, several employees were told that they were under investigation for failing to work 40 hours per week at the facility. The employees subsequently received letters indicating that they were being terminated “for cause” and would not be entitled to FMP benefits. The fact that these employees performed some of their work hours off-site had been known by the company for some time. The company had not warned or taken any previous action against the employees for this alleged violation of company policy. The terminated employees sued. What should the court decide? Why?

 

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