I was offered a retention bonus to stay on after my company was acquired. If I don't want to stay on, am I still entitle to a severance package? What circumstances would make me entitled to decline the retention and ask for the severance package?

I was offered a retention bonus of 6 months salary if i stay on for 1 year after the close. i am not interested in staying on in the new organization. Though my title has not changed, i am certain that increased responsibilities and travel will be required. I am also certain that this position will be relocated to a different office at some time which would require relocation. I am not in a position to relocate. Since I was offered a retention package, was told i am not eligible for severance. Is this true? What circumstances would make me eligible for severance?

1 answer  |  asked Oct 27, 2016 05:08 AM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Marilynn Mika Spencer
Severance packages are not required by law. Some employers offer them, at times in exchange for the employee signing a waiver of any claims against the company. Some employers have a policy that provides severance without any waiver requirement; you can check the employee handbook or ask personnel about this.Your employer may offer severance if it ends an employee's employment against the employee's wishes. It may consider your rejection of continued employment, even with changed circumstances, as a voluntary end to your employment.

Regarding your suppositions about travel, location, and duties of the new position, you may be able to negotiate a retention package that includes a guarantee that you will not be transferred or not be required to travel. Of course, this would only be likely if the employer strongly needs your continued services. Offering you 18 months pay for 12 months work is an indication you have some bargaining power.

posted by Marilynn Mika Spencer  |  Oct 29, 2016 2:28 PM [EST]

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