Under what circumstances is an employee eligible for severance?

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Under what circumstances is an employee eligible for severance?

About 8 years ago, I was laid off as my department was eliminated. I was given severance and offered a job with the new company taking over those duties but I declined. I was offered a job by the same company 5 years ago but I’m now again getting laid off from the same company. I was given a week to accept another severance package or accept a job with the new company they are forming to do the same job. Shouldn’t I receive the severance regardless?

Asked on February 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no obligation for a company to *ever* offer severance--it is purely voluntary on the part of the company, unless there is a written employment contract guarantying it to you. (If there is, they must honor the contracts terms, and you could enforce them in court, if necessary.) Otherwise, though, they can decide whether to offer severance and, if they do, put whatever conditions on it that they like.


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