Notice of Job Elimination & Severance

UPDATED: May 28, 2009

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Notice of Job Elimination & Severance

My wife got notice that her job was being eliminated on March 31. She signed to acknowledge receipt of the leter. The end date was moved to June 30 which she orally assented to and got a new letter with this date signed by her supervisor. She has accepted a job offer at another company starting in July. However, her current employer may extend her end date. She would have to resign in order to start her new job and lose eligibility for the severance pay she is entitled to. Can her current employer extend her position end date without her assent? What can she do to preserve her severance pay?

Asked on May 28, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Unless your wife has a contract that says she gets severance, she doesn't have a legal right to get it.  However, if it's mentioned in the letters with the termination date, that might be considered a contract for it, and if so, depending on how the letters are worded, the employer might not have the right to change that without her agreement.  This will depend on the letters and probably some other facts that aren't in your question, and Pennsylvania law (where I don't practice). Your wife needs to talk about this, and show the letters, to a qualified employment and labor lawyer in your area.  One place to look for an attorney is our website,

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