What to do if my husband was fired with no warning, severance or unemployment insurance?

UPDATED: May 31, 2012

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What to do if my husband was fired with no warning, severance or unemployment insurance?

My husband was the president of company owned by another business owner. With no warning, they fired my husband and sold off products to his contacts and closed the company. No severance, didn’t pay into unemployment insurance. Won’t return calls and did not send us COBRA info. We are depleting our savings over this.. We are a one income family with kids.

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your husband would have no claim for severance unless and only to the extent there was an employment, separation, or severance agreement (so, some contract) which provided for it; the law does not require severance, so it's up to employers to decide whether to grant it.

There would also be no claim for being terminated without warning, unless there was an employment contract requiring notice or guarantying his position for some period of time or until some date. Without a contract, he would be an employee at will and could be terminated at any time, for any reason, without notice.

The company owner may of course sell off the company's products to anyone he wants to.

COBRA and unemployment are, however, required by law. If these were not paid, are not being provided, etc., you could contact your state department of labor and/or retain an attorney to look into bringing a lawsuit for the value of the benefits you are not receiving.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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