contingent upon future employment

My husband's position with our local county highway dept was recently eliminated. He was given the explanation that it was "reorganization". There has been a lot of local concern raised to our county board over this decision and it has raised a lot of local contraversy. They did not initially offer him a severance package so he asked for one before the board. They verbally agreed to giving him three months salary and six months health insurance. We later received a contract they wanted him to sign with among other things, a statement that he agrees to notify them once he finds employment and his severance will then be discontinued. He wants it to be stated "comprable full-time employment" since he is a professional. Can they discontue his severance like that?

1 answer  |  asked Apr 16, 2003 1:37 PM [EST]  |  applies to Wisconsin

Answers (1)

Michael Katarincic
Severance Pay

First, the county is under no obligation to pay your husband severance if he did not have an employment contract with the county. Sure it promised him this benefit, so now there may be some argument that he has severance pay coming but what did he give the county in return for that severance package? As far as I can tell nothing. Therefore, no contract is in existance until there is an offer, acceptence and consideration. If he does sign some contract with them that may constitute consideration for the severance package. You are free to negoiate the terms of that contract. My advise is to get a lump sum payment for the severance pay and then not have to worry about future employment or notifying the county about such. The county is concerned about insurance coverage. It wants notification of future employment so that it can discontinue insurance coverage at that time. I think it is against most insurance policies for an employer to provide and pay for insurance coverage for non-employees. If the county is paying for coverage it will probably have to label your husband as a laid off employee. Thus, if he finds new employment the county would have to reclassify his employment status and then end his coverage. To answer your question, Yes, it can discontinue the severance if that is what is stated in the contract. Hope this helps.

posted by Michael Katarincic  |  Apr 16, 2003 2:23 PM [EST]

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