Am I entitled to a severance package?

I’ve been working for a company for 3 years. Things started to go south – no stock on product, managers being fired, talk of going hourly instead of commission, insentives being cut, etc. We’ve been told on a consistant basis that the company is not closing down, your job is not in jeopardy, we are just adjusting not closing, etc. Then I just found out that he company is closed down. However, I was promised that if I stayed until the last day, I would get a severance package. Now I hear that there is no severance package. What do I do?

Asked on March 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, an employer is not legally obligated to provide a departing worker with a severance package. However, since you were verbally promised severance if you stayed on up until the last day, then it appears that you have an enforceable contract. That having been said, while an oral contract is just as valid as a written one, it is much more difficult to prove.

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