Severance Package Lawyers
Is There a Law that I Am Entitled to a Severance Package When I Am Laid Off?
No. There is no requirement that your employer give you a severance package. An employer must provide unemployment compensation as a benefit, but they are not required to give you any sort of severance pay.
How Much Can I Expect from a Typical Severance Package?
There is no set limit to what may be offered through a severance package. If you work at a job for an hourly wage, it is unlikely that you will be offered any sort of severance at all. A general guide for severance packages is one week of your salary for every year of service to the company. If you are at the executive level of your company, you may want to request a month of salary for every year of service. Even generous companies may cap the amount of severance pay they offer to their employees. When you negotiate a severance package with your company, it is a good idea to know the value of your service to the company, and use that to increase your chances at getting a good severance package.
The Terms of the Severance Package include a "Waiting Period" of 21 Days to Consider the Offer. Can I Accept before the Time Period is Over?
Although the waiting period for acceptance is a benefit to you, you may accept before the waiting period is over.
If I Accept a Severance Package, am I Giving Up any Other Rights?
Most likely. Severance packages are usually offered to employees in exchange for an agreement to forego any legal claims you may have against the company. You should consult a qualified attorney to balance the difference between what your legal claims may be worth against what the company is offering in your severance package.
My Company Offered Many Other Employees Severance Packages when They Left. Does that Mean I am Entitled to a Severance Package as Well?
Not likely. If a severance package is not part of a written contract of employment, it may be difficult to prove that your employer has an established severance plan. If you can show in court that your employer had a severance system in place, you may be able to make an argument that you deserve severance pay. You must show all of the following:
- Employees at your rank were routinely offered severance packages
- The length of service required to become eligible for the severance package
- The actual amounts the company paid out in severance packages
- The source of the severance payments
The employer may not have had a consistent severance system in place. If not, it may be nearly impossible to come up with the proof necessary to argue for your own entitlement to a severance package. Remember: employers are NOT required to provide severance pay when they terminate you, regardless of your length of service.
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Last Modified: 06-06-2012 04:37 PM PDT
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