Does your severance pay beat Eli Lilly's?

With job-cuts trend sweeping Big Pharma over the past several years, plenty of employees have been offered severance packages (or had severance forced upon them). Departure packages are so common these days, some pharma-related websites have advertisers offering severance-evaluation services.

But now, the Indianapolis Star has published some info that makes severance comparison more of a do-it-yourself job. Namely, Eli Lilly's severance schedule. The IndyStar got ahold of a memo from Lilly's HR department, setting out how much employees can expect to collect. And like most severance packages, they're based on years of service at the company.

Less than 10 years at Lilly? Three times monthly pay. More than 10 but less than 12? Four times. More than 12 but less than 13? Five times. Beyond that, the multiple increases by one for every year of additional service up to 25 years. Those longtime workers get 18 times their monthly pay.

The severance deals don't kick in, however, until 12 weeks after employees are told their jobs have been cut. They're put on "reallocation status," the IndyStar reports, which some Lilly-ites are calling "waiting on death row." Basically, they have three months to find another job at the drugmaker.

Lilly announced last fall that it would cut some 5,500 jobs (while hiring several thousand in China and other foreign markets, but that's another story). In a year when two megamergers--Pfizer and Wyeth, and Merck and Schering-Plough--came with job-cut announcements of 19,500 and 16,000, respectively, that 5,500 didn't seem so large. But to any worker offered the aforementioned severance, it was one job too many.

- read the IndyStar piece
- check out the post at Pharmalot