Delayed Severance

Is a company allowed to specify that they will only pay the severance amount if no other work is obtained prior to a date 4 months later? I was laid off in 12/11 and will be paid 4/30/12 but only if I do not take another position. I can not even work part time and still get my severance according to their documents.

1 answer  |  asked Mar 7, 2012 11:07 AM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
An employer has no obligation to pay severance to a discharged employee regardless of the reason for layoff. There are two basic reasons that an employer pays severance. First, it creates a sense that the discharged employee is being treated fairly, which is important for maintaining the morale of those who remain in the workforce. Second, most severance agreements contain a provision releasing the employer from any of the various legal claims an employee might be inclined to pursue, such as wrongful discharge, unlawful discrimination and so on.
Because the law does not mandate the payment of severance, an employer is free to craft its severance agreement however it chooses. Of course, you are free to reject the severance if you would prefer to pursue a legal claim against the employer. It's your choice.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Mar 8, 2012 10:13 AM [EST]

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