Is it reasonable for an employee to negotiate severance date?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Is it reasonable for an employee to negotiate severance date?

When negotiating severance with an
employer, would it be reasonable for an
employee to ask for a delay of the
severance date e.g. through some
combination of accrued vacation time and
unpaid leave for any of a variety of
reasons, e.g. to extend insurance
benefits a bit, to allow unvested stock
options to vest, to enable them to
qualify for a loan that may require a
verification of employment?

Asked on September 12, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It's "reasonable" in the sense that there is nothing improper about it--but there's also no reason for the employer to grant it and, in fact, reasons why they shouldn't: if the employer is terminating you, why would they want you to become eligible for stock options in the company, since any stock you get dilutes, even if only fractionally, the value of other stock; and why would they want to pay for your insurance for longer? So while there is no harm in asking, do not be suprised if they say "no."

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