Non-payment of severance and....

My position with a large company was eliminated and I was terminated/laid-off (no recall). I was handed an Agreement of Termination and a severance pay offer of 1 month's wages to be paid withing 20 "business" days from my termination date, and being stunned and naive in these matters, signed immediately. However, 20 business days have now passed and I have NOT received severance pay. I have sent several e-mails to the company and have been passed along and promised a pay card with severance pay, but it has not been sent. I have informed the company that I NOW want not only my severance CHECK (with stub annotating deductions), but the pay stub representing my final pay which I did not receive since my final wages were direct deposit, plus my outstanding vacation hours which were not included in that final check (for which I did NOT receive a pay stub). Can I sue for breach of contract collecting the agreed upon severance and vacation (it is company policy), the pay stubs, interest on the severance, any type of punitive damages, and legal fees I might incur if I sued?

1 answer  |  asked Oct 15, 2007 10:46 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
The employer may owe you a 25% penalty on unpaid wages, vacation, etc., plus attorneys' fees.

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, the employer may owe you a 25% penalty on unpaid wages, vacation, etc., plus attorneys' fees. The Wage Payment and Collection Law provides that if wages are unpaid thirty days after they are due, then the employer owes you the wages PLUS a 25% penalty, as well as any reasonable attorneys' fees.

I cannot tell from your question if you received your last pay or not, but there is no legal mechanism for forcing the employer to provide you with a pay stub; as long as you have received your wages, the law is satisfied.

You may be owed accrued vacation pay as wages; failure to pay them upon your termination may expose the employer to the 25% penalty on those amounts, as well. Whether you are owed the accrued vacation pay depends on several issues, including company policy.

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/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Oct 16, 2007 08:25 AM [EST]

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