served only to put Plaintiff on notice of impending changes in the organization of Ericsson.
What likely occurred is that upon his receipt of the May 31 e-mail, Plaintiff immediately began a job search. Having found such employment with Swissair, Plaintiff accepted the new position, prior to the July 5 notification date. When Plaintiff failed to come to work on any day after July 2, the company sent him correspondence telling him that he had not been terminated. Much as Plaintiff would have liked to have been laid off, which would have allowed him to take the position with Swissair and receive severance payment, this was not the case.
Even if the court accepts that Plaintiff was somehow confused by the language of the May 31 e-mail, this would not change the decision here. The correspondence sent to Plaintiff following the July 5 lay off could not have made it clearer that Plaintiff was not one of those employees who would be separated from the company. The court cannot imagine language clearer than that of the July 11 correspondence from Karen Raftery which stated, in the simplest of terms, "[f]or the last time, you were not laid off in the most recent reduction-in-force."
There can be no question of fact as to whether or not Plaintiff was laid off by Ericsson either in May or July of 2001. He was never terminated. Instead, upon hearing of a reduction in force and a possible termination, he voluntarily left the company to assume a position with a different company. Plaintiff accepted a new position, gambling on the notion that he would be fired on July 5. He was not.
Because Plaintiff was not laid off from his position at Ericsson, he is not entitled to severance payments. Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claim is, accordingly, granted.
IV. Defendant is Entitled to Summary Judgment on its Counterclaim
Defendant's counterclaim seeks the repayment of the $5,000 signing bonus as well as expenses reimbursed to Plaintiff when he relocated from Connecticut to Long Island. As detailed above, both payments were made to Plaintiff on the express condition that he remain with the company for a period of one year. In the event that Plaintiff voluntarily left the company prior to expiration of the one year period, he would be responsible for paying both the bonus and relocation expenses back to Ericsson.
The basis for dismissal of Plaintiff's claim on the merits was that he was never laid off but instead, that he voluntarily left the company. It necessarily follows, therefore, that the provisions regarding repayment to Ericsson of the bonus and relocation expenses comes into effect. Because Plaintiff voluntarily left Ericsson prior to the expiration of one year, the company is entitled to summary judgment on its counterclaim.
V. Judgment on the Counterclaim Requires Additional Documentation
The court will not enter judgment in favor of Ericsson for the amount claimed on its counterclaim at this time. Correspondence sent to Plaintiff in July of 2001 indicates that the company sought repayment of the $5,000 signing bonus plus relocation expenses of $29,949. While there is no dispute that the signing bonus amounted to $5,000, there is a question as to the proper amount to be awarded to Ericsson for relocation expenses. While the July letter sought $29,949, Ericsson's counterclaim sets the amount sought as $52,265.22. Ericsson's memorandum of law seeks $74,346.59.
In view of this discrepancy, the court will enter no judgment on Ericsson's counterclaim until the company submits appropriate documentation detailing the exact amount paid to Plaintiff in relocation expenses. Once Defendant submits such documentation to the court, Plaintiff will be granted one week in which to object to any submitted expense. If Plaintiff fails to interpose a timely objection, the court will enter judgment in the amount claimed by Ericsson on the counterclaim.
Defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing Plaintiff's case is granted. Defendant's motion for summary judgment on its counterclaim is also granted. Defendant is ordered to submit documentation supporting the entry of judgment on its counterclaim as set forth above. The Clerk of the Court is directed to terminate the motions.