How your severence pay is paid to you.

My question does the employer have the right to withhold your severence until they want to pay you. Do they have the right to make installments to you on your severence pay.

2 answers  |  asked Sep 21, 2011 3:04 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Doris Dabrowski
A severance plan may be an ERISA plan governed by federal benefits law if the employer has an established plan enabling an administrator to match eligible beneficiaries with a benefit prescribed by the plan. A severance plan participant or beneficiary can file suit to enforce the benefit plan. As a general rule, you must file an appeal withint the plan itself before filing a lawsuit.

For individually negotiated severance agreements, I agree with Mr. Ezold's analysis.

It is important to negotiate the terms of the severance agreement before signing it. If you still have time to negotiate terms, you may ask for a lump sum in the course of the negotiation proceedings.

This answer is provided for purposes of general information. For a detailed analyis of the law applicable to the facts in your particular situation, you should consult an attorney.

Doris Dabrowski, 1525 Locust St. Philadelphia, Pa. 19102, 215-790-1115,

posted by Doris Dabrowski  |  Sep 22, 2011 11:01 AM [EST]
Christopher Ezold
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, employees do not generally have a right to severance pay in Pennsylvania, so how an employer pays severance is really up to the employer. If, however, you have a contract that specifies how severance is paid, then you can enforce the terms of the contract. If an employer has promised to pay severance in a certain manner, and then delays the payment, you will likely have a claim under the PA Wage Payment and Collection Law for nonpayment of wages (which includes severance), plus a 25% penalty and attorneys' fees.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Sep 21, 2011 3:15 PM [EST]

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