If you are asking for severance upon your resignation, does your employer need to agree to it before you sign separation paperwork?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If you are asking for severance upon your resignation, does your employer need to agree to it before you sign separation paperwork?

I am sending in my letter of resignation soon. I am arguing for severance in exchange for not filing a lawsuit. I am giving 2 weeks’ notice but I expect that they will ask me to leave immediately. If they do not agree to the severance, can I refuse to sign the separation paperwork until the 2 weeks’ notice has concluded? That gives me 2 weeks to convince them that the severance is in everyone’s best interest. Alternatively, if I do sign the paperwork, have I lost my only opportunity to get severance, or can that happen later? If they require that I leave immediately rather than asking me to leave, is that involuntary termination? Based on the fact that I have brought violations to their attention in my resignation letter and in documented HR reports beforehand, would that be considered retaliatory?

Asked on August 13, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Do NOT sign anything until they offer you severance--and if they never off you anything (which they do not have to), don't sign the separation paperwork at all; there is no legal obligation on you to sign separation paperwork, and doing so is generally quid pro quo for getting something (e.g. severance) in return.
No, if you send in your resignation and they ask to leave immediately, that is not involuntary termiantion: once you tell them you are resigning, they can treat it as effective immediately and do not need to honor the notice period you gave (notice is a tradition, not a legal requirement).

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption