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Severance Pay Q&A: I just got laid off from my job. Am I Entitled to a Severance Package?

above-the-bar-logo-no12No. Unless there is a contractual obligation or a controlling employment policy requirement, an employer does not have to pay severance pay to a separating employee. Often, this is hard reality for long-time employees who have devoted their life to the Company. However, generally, employees are entitled to accrued vacation pay unless there is a contrary company policy.

In addition, separating employees could be entitled to 60 or 90 days notice under the New York State and Federal WARN acts, respectively, if an employer lays off a triggering amount of its workforce.

Even though employers in the United States are generally not required to provide severance, unlike employers in numerous other countries, many employers do so in order to obtain a signed release of a waiver of all claims against the company. If you are given a Severance Package or Severance Pay Agreement, you should have an experienced employment lawyer review it before you sign it so that you know your rights and receive the maximum amount of compensation. If you are over 40 years old, employers must give you atleast 21 or 45 days to review the Agreement in order to obtain a full release of age discrimination claims. However, if you are under 40 years old and are not let go as part of a reduction in force, your employer may give less time to review your separation agreement.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for top.lawyers.arrive.mag.2011.jpgYou should never sign an agreement without taking it home and properly considering its consequences and having an experienced employment lawyer review it. Contact our Severance Agreement Lawyers at (800) 893-9645 to learn how to maximize the value of your severance package. Our Severance Pay Lawyers will review your agreement with you paragraph by paragraph and analyze whether you have any employment law claims of discrimination, harassment, or otherwise against the company.


Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

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