What can I do if I worked for a large corporation for 10 years and severance pay has been a policy of the company, yet I did not receive any when I left?

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What can I do if I worked for a large corporation for 10 years and severance pay has been a policy of the company, yet I did not receive any when I left?

Last year, my father suffered a stroke and had to take care of him so I took FMLA. I am unable to return to work after my FMLA expired as my father’s condition remained critical; I requested for a extension but was terminated at the end of my FMLA leave. Since I was solely taking care of my father, I only applied for unemployment benefits until I was ready to look for a job which, was 8 months ago. Initially, the company that I worked for disputed my UI benefits claiming excessive absences and that I had resigned when it was crystal clear in my termination letter they were terminating my position. Anyway, am I still entitled to severance?

Asked on January 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A "policy" is not the same as a legal requirement. The law *never* requires severance on termination of employment: it is up to companies, in their sole discretion, whether, when, etc. to offer it. Even if your employer has commonly or habitually offered severance, that does not obligate them to offer it to you, and they may refuse to do so.


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