My company has started lay offs. The first round of lay offs received severance packages, but I’ve learned that subsequent rounds will not. Is this legal? I am a remote employee in IL and the co is based in TN

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My company has started lay offs. The first round of lay offs received severance packages, but I’ve learned that subsequent rounds will not. Is this legal? I am a remote employee in IL and the co is based in TN

Thanks

Asked on October 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor



There is no law that mandates severance pay. As a general rule, an employee only has a right to severance pay if they were promised it. For example, in the employee handbook or if the company has always given it to workers in similar situations or it has a severance plan. That having been said, without a union agreement or employment contract, an employer can change a policy at anytime.
If you didn’t get severance pay that you should have gotten, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) administers the law. If a large group of workers is being laid off, they may be covered by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification law (WARN), which gives them extra rights, sometimes including severance pay.
 


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