Can you be told you were going to receive a 90-day severance package, then only receive 60-day package at the time of termination?

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Can you be told you were going to receive a 90-day severance package, then only receive 60-day package at the time of termination?

I was told be the EVP and my immediate boss that I would be receiving 90 days of pay when we go out of business.

Asked on February 18, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unless you agreed to do something in exchange for the severance--for example, signed an agreement giving up your right to sue--the promise of severance is not enforceable: the law does not require severance, and it also does not enforce "gratuitious promises"--or promises made freely by one party without the other party doing, paying, or giving up anything in return. Employers don't have to provide severance (unless some contract requires them to do so), and can promise it then change or reneg on their promise.

If you did sign some sort of severance agreement, however, in which you agreed to do or not do something in exchange for the money, that agreement should be as enforceable as any contract.


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