Severance Timeframe

I was laid off in early Dec. My company has sent my final check, but I am still waiting on my severance check. I have called three times and each time they say it is on the way. It has not arrived, it is now Jan. Is there a law saying they must send it in a certain timeframe?

1 answer  |  asked Jan 3, 2005 3:24 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (1)

Janet M. Koehn
it depends

that depends on what you mean by "severance check". if by that you mean, reimbursement for unused vacation time, then yes, the law requires that you be paid that money in its entirety on the last day you worked. you can file a claim with the cal dept. of labor standards enforcement for that pay and waiting time penalties.

if you are getting pay in lieu of the law that requires you to get notice of the layoff, that can be paid over time. but i would be very worried if i were you that no payment has been made yet.

if by "severance check" you mean you signed some kind of document giving up rights in exchange for an additional payment, over and above your accrued work time and vacation pay, then unfortunately you only have the right to enforce that contract.

if you were laid off because the company is in financial trouble, you should be worried. the company could declare bankruptcy and you would be only a creditor, and would have to go to the bankruptcy court with your claim. what kind of claim you have would determine your "priority" to the assets of the company.

you need to talk to an attorney experienced in employment law about your rights. you can find one in your area at the cal employment lawyers assn's website, www.celaweb.org.
good luck

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  Jan 3, 2005 6:55 PM [EST]

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