Owed severance of two months. Company HR person will not respond.

What are my options if I'm owed severance pay after a signed contract and the company HR person will not respond?

2 answers  |  asked Aug 22, 2001 10:33 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (2)

Outten & Golden LLP
Severance pay is protected wages

Under New York State Labor Law, contractually owed severance pay -- as distinguished from discretionary severance pay -- is considered wages and, as such, is protected under the law. An experienced employment lawyer could negotiate with the company to secure your severance pay, typically without the need of protracted litigation, if it is covered under the law.

Our firm has extensive experience with this type of negotiation and can offer services of this type on an hourly fee basis or, perhaps, through a contingency fee arrangement.
If you are interested in retaining our firm, please telephone us at 212-245-1000 and ask to speak to Melissa Arthur, who handles our intake.

posted by Outten & Golden LLP  |  Aug 27, 2001 3:57 PM [EST]
David M. Lira
Getting An Employer to Honor Its Severance Agreements

You can sue your former employer in state court on the severance agreement.

Some employers work under a misconception that, once an employee signs a severance agreement, the employee can never sue the former employer for anything. That is not true. When you sign a severance, at most you are giving up any right to sue the employer for any claims that have come into existence at any time up to the date of the agreement. A typical severance agreement will not address anything after the date of the agreement.

Now, if you have a signed severance agreement (contract), and the employer then fails to live up to its part of the agreement, a new claim in your favor arises under the agreement.

Note that everything depends on the precise wording of the agreement, but you probably can sue on the agreement.

Before suing, you might want an attorney to send a letter to the employer requesting payment pursuant to the agreement.

You claim under the agreement has a six year statute of limitations, measured from the date that the employer should have made a payment to you but failed to do so.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Aug 22, 2001 12:49 PM [EST]

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