Can my employer withhold severance if I refuse to relocate?

My employer is in round one of lay-offs. Severance packets are being offered to everyone as far as I know. I have not been given my severance agreement yet as I believe I am in round two. But I have heard that some people in the first round have been offered positions at a different office over 350 miles away and were told that if they do not accept the position they will not be offered a severance packet. I am concerned as I now have been contacted by the far-away office. I cannot relocate due to personal reasons and am worried that I will be denied severance because of this. Can they do this? Isn't there a limit to how many miles away a transfer can be in order to be considered a reasonable offer?

1 answer  |  asked Jan 13, 2011 10:40 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

George Allen
There's not an easy or absolute answer to your question without knowing the details. Severance is a self-imposed obligation. In other words, the law does not require employers to offer any severance at all. The legal question is whether there is a written or implied agreement by your employer to provide severance to persons in your situation. I suggest that you review the details with an attorney. is a good resource for finding an employee-side attorney in California. Good luck to you.

posted by George Allen  |  Jan 14, 2011 10:27 AM [EST]

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