Can an employer deny severance and unemployment to an employee that declines to be traded to an outsourcing company the original company hired?

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Can an employer deny severance and unemployment to an employee that declines to be traded to an outsourcing company the original company hired?

Asked on November 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A company can certainly deny severance, unless the employee has a contract which guarantees him severance in this situation, since the law does not require severance: it is voluntary on the part of companies to pay it (unless, as noted, they are obligated by a contract)

As to unemployment: while the employer cannot itself deny unemployment, it can make the unemployment office aware that the employee passed up a job. If the job at the outsourcing company is essentially comparable to what the employee is currently doing and does not involve relocation, the unemployment office may decide to deny unemployment compensation: employees may not choose to take or receive unemployment instead of working in a comparable position.


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